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Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 15;9(1):6033. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-42429-x.

The perceptual neural trace of memorable unseen scenes.

Author information

1
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. yalda@mit.edu.
2
McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. yalda@mit.edu.
3
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
4
McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. pantazis@mit.edu.

Abstract

Some scenes are more memorable than others: they cement in minds with consistencies across observers and time scales. While memory mechanisms are traditionally associated with the end stages of perception, recent behavioral studies suggest that the features driving these memorability effects are extracted early on, and in an automatic fashion. This raises the question: is the neural signal of memorability detectable during early perceptual encoding phases of visual processing? Using the high temporal resolution of magnetoencephalography (MEG), during a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task, we traced the neural temporal signature of memorability across the brain. We found an early and prolonged memorability related signal under a challenging ultra-rapid viewing condition, across a network of regions in both dorsal and ventral streams. This enhanced encoding could be the key to successful storage and recognition.

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