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Briefly Cuing Memories Leads to Suppression of Their Neural Representations

Author(s): Poppenk, Jordan; Norman, Kenneth A.

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Abstract: Previous studies have linked partial memory activation with impaired subsequent memory retrieval (e.g., Detre et al., 2013) but have not provided an account of this phenomenon at the level of memory representations: How does partial activation change the neural pattern subsequently elicited when the memory is cued? To address this question, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment in which participants studied word-scene paired associates. Later, we weakly reactivated some memories by briefly presenting the cue word during a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task; other memories were more strongly reactivated or not reactivated at all. We tested participants' memory for the paired associates before and after RSVP. Cues that were briefly presented during RSVP triggered reduced levels of scene activity on the post-RSVP memory test, relative to the other conditions. We used pattern similarity analysis to assess how representations changed as a function of the RSVP manipulation. For briefly cued pairs, we found that neural patterns elicited by the same cue on the pre- and post-RSVP tests (preA–postA; preB–postB) were less similar than neural patterns elicited by different cues (preA–postB; preB–postA). These similarity reductions were predicted by neural measures of memory activation during RSVP. Through simulation, we show that our pattern similarity results are consistent with a model in which partial memory activation triggers selective weakening of the strongest parts of the memory.
Publication Date: 4-Jun-2014
Electronic Publication Date: 4-Jun-2014
Citation: Poppenk, J, Norman, KA. (2014). Briefly Cuing Memories Leads to Suppression of Their Neural Representations. Journal of Neuroscience, 34 (23), 8010 - 8020. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4584-13.2014
DOI: doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4584-13.2014
ISSN: 0270-6474
EISSN: 1529-2401
Pages: 8010 - 8020
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Neuroscience
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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