Category-specific cortical activity precedes retrieval during memory search

Science. 2005 Dec 23;310(5756):1963-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1117645.

Abstract

Here we describe a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of humans engaged in memory search during a free recall task. Patterns of cortical activity associated with the study of three categories of pictures (faces, locations, and objects) were identified by a pattern-classification algorithm. The algorithm was used to track the reappearance of these activity patterns during the recall period. The reappearance of a given category's activity pattern correlates with verbal recalls made from that category and precedes the recall event by several seconds. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that category-specific activity is cueing the memory system to retrieve studied items.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Female
  • Form Perception / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Space Perception / physiology