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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Nov 26;110(48):19591-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1308499110. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Persistence of hippocampal multivoxel patterns into postencoding rest is related to memory.

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Center for Neural Science and Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, NY 10003.


The transformation of new experiences into lasting memories is thought to be mediated by postencoding reactivation or the reexpression of activity patterns that characterize prior encoding experiences during subsequent offline periods. Although hippocampal reactivation has been well-described in the rodent, evidence for postencoding persistence of hippocampal encoding patterns has yet to be described in humans. Using functional MRI, we examined the persistence of multivoxel hippocampal encoding patterns into postencoding rest periods. To characterize activity patterns, we computed the pairwise multivoxel correlation structure (MVCS) across hippocampal voxels during two distinct encoding tasks as well as during pre- and postencoding rest periods. We found that the hippocampal MVCS for each encoding task was more similar to the MVCS during immediate postencoding rest periods compared with a preencoding, baseline rest period. Additionally, using a principal component decomposition approach, we found that the strongest encoding patterns showed evidence of preferential persistence into immediate postencoding rest periods. Finally, the extent to which the strongest encoding patterns showed evidence of preferential persistence into immediate postencoding rest significantly correlated with later memory for stimuli seen during encoding. Taken together, these results provide strong evidence for hippocampal reactivation in humans, which was measured by the persistence of hippocampal encoding patterns into immediate postencoding rest periods, and importantly, provide a possible link between this persistence and memory consolidation.


hippocampus; multivoxel pattern analysis; resting state

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