Brain rhythms in mental time travel.

Polyn SM, Sederberg PB
Neuroimage. 2014 85 Pt 2: 678-84

PMID: 23850576 · DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.06.084

The memory theorist Endel Tulving referred to the ability to search through one's memories, and revisit events and episodes from one's past, as mental time travel. This process involves the reactivation of past mental states reflecting the perceptual and conceptual characteristics of the original experience. Widely distributed neural circuitry is engaged in the service of memory search, and the dynamics of these circuits are reflected in rhythmic oscillatory signals at widespread frequencies, recorded both in the local field around neurons and more globally at the scalp. Retrieved-context theory provides a theoretical bridge between the behavioral phenomena exhibited by participants in memory search tasks, and the neural signals reflecting the dynamics of the underlying circuitry. Computational models based on this theory make broad predictions regarding the representational structure of neural activity recorded during these tasks. In recent work, researchers have used multivariate analytic techniques on topographic patterns of oscillatory neural activity to confirm critical predictions of retrieved-context theory. We review the cognitive theory motivating this recent work, and the analytic techniques being developed to create integrated neural-behavioral models of human memory search.

© 2013.

MeSH Terms (8)

Animals Brain Waves Cognition Humans Memory Mental Recall Models, Neurological Time Factors

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