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Neural network connectivity during post-encoding rest: linking episodic memory encoding and retrieval

Commonly, a switch between networks mediating memory encoding and those mediating retrieval is observed. This may not only be due to differential involvement of neural resources due to distinct cognitive processes but could also reflect the formation of new memory traces and their dynamic change during consolidation. We used resting state fMRI to measure functional connectivity (FC) changes during post-encoding rest, hypothesizing that during this phase, new functional connections between encoding- and retrieval-related regions are created. Interfering and reminding tasks served as experimental modulators to corroborate that the observed FC differences indeed reflect changes specific to post-encoding rest.
The right inferior occipital and fusiform gyri (active during encoding) showed increased FC with the left inferior frontal gyrus and the left middle temporal gyrus (MTG) during post-encoding rest. Importantly, the left MTG subsequently also mediated successful retrieval. This finding might reflect the formation of functional connections between encoding- and retrieval-related regions during undisturbed post-encoding rest. These connections were vulnerable to experimental modulation: Cognitive interference disrupted FC changes during post-encoding rest resulting in poorer memory performance. The presentation of reminders also inhibited FC increases but without affecting memory performance.
Our results contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which post-encoding rest bridges the gap between encoding- and retrieval-related networks.
 
 

Risius 2019

Figure. The subsequent memory effect during encoding (a) and the main effect of memory during retrieval (b).

 


Publication:

Risius, O.J., Onur, O.A., Dronse, J., von Reutern, B., Richter, N., Fink, G.R., & Kukolja, J. (2019). Neural network connectivity during post-encoding rest: linking episodic memory encoding and retrieval. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12, 528.


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