Fast track to the neocortex: A memory engram in the posterior parietal cortex

S. Brodt, S. Gais, J. Beck, M. Erb, K. Scheffler, M. Schönauer
2018 Science  
Models of systems memory consolidation postulate a fast-learning hippocampal store and a slowly developing, stable neocortical store. Accordingly, early neocortical contributions to memory are deemed to reflect a hippocampus-driven online reinstatement of encoding activity. In contrast, we found that learning rapidly engenders an enduring memory engram in the human posterior parietal cortex. We assessed microstructural plasticity via diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging as well as
more » ... ing as well as functional brain activity in an object–location learning task. We detected neocortical plasticity as early as 1 hour after learning and found that it was learning specific, enabled correct recall, and overlapped with memory-related functional activity. These microstructural changes persisted over 12 hours. Our results suggest that new traces can be rapidly encoded into the parietal cortex, challenging views of a slow-learning neocortex.
doi:10.1126/science.aau2528 pmid:30498125 fatcat:bxcqz4ex2zbj7frckf57n3pcau