The temporal signature of memories: identification of a general mechanism for dynamic memory replay in humans

Sebastian Michelmann, Howard Bowman, Simon Hanslmayr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
139 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Reinstatement of dynamic memories requires the replay of neural patterns that unfold over time in a similar manner as during perception. However, little is known about the mechanisms that guide such a temporally structured replay in humans, because previous studies
used either unsuitable methods or paradigms to address this question. Here, we overcome these limitations by developing a new analysis method to detect the replay of temporal patterns in a paradigm that requires participants to mentally replay short sound or video clips.
We show that memory reinstatement is accompanied by a decrease of low-frequency (8 Hz) power, which carries a temporal phase signature of the replayed stimulus. These replay effects were evident in the visual as well as in the auditory domain and were localized to sensory-specific regions. These results suggest low-frequency phase to be a domain-general mechanism that orchestrates dynamic memory replay in humans.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1002528
JournalPLoS Biology
Volume14
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2016

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