Partially overlapping spatial environments trigger reinstatement in hippocampus and schema representations in prefrontal cortex

Li Zheng, Zhiyao Gao, Andrew S. McAvan, Eve A. Isham, Arne D. Ekstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

When we remember a city that we have visited, we retrieve places related to finding our goal but also non-target locations within this environment. Yet, understanding how the human brain implements the neural computations underlying holistic retrieval remains unsolved, particularly for shared aspects of environments. Here, human participants learned and retrieved details from three partially overlapping environments while undergoing high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Our findings show reinstatement of stores even when they are not related to a specific trial probe, providing evidence for holistic environmental retrieval. For stores shared between cities, we find evidence for pattern separation (representational orthogonalization) in hippocampal subfield CA2/3/DG and repulsion in CA1 (differentiation beyond orthogonalization). Additionally, our findings demonstrate that medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) stores representations of the common spatial structure, termed schema, across environments. Together, our findings suggest how unique and common elements of multiple spatial environments are accessed computationally and neurally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6231
JournalNature communications
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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