Backward Spreading of Memory-Retrieval Signal in the Primate Temporal Cortex

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Science  26 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5504, pp. 661-664
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5504.661

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Bidirectional signaling between neocortex and limbic cortex has been hypothesized to contribute to the retrieval of long-term memory. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the time courses of perceptual and memory-retrieval signals in two neighboring areas in temporal cortex, area TE (TE) and perirhinal cortex (PRh), while monkeys were performing a visual pair-association task. Perceptual signal reached TE before PRh, confirming its forward propagation. In contrast, memory-retrieval signal appeared earlier in PRh, and TE neurons were then gradually recruited to represent the sought target. A reasonable interpretation of this finding is that the rich backward fiber projections from PRh to TE may underlie the activation of TE neurons that represent a visual object retrieved from long-term memory.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this report.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: yasushi_miyashita{at}

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