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Coordinated Reactivation of Distributed Memory Traces in Primate Neocortex

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Science  20 Sep 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5589, pp. 2070-2073
DOI: 10.1126/science.1073538

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Abstract

Conversion of new memories into a lasting form may involve the gradual refinement and linking together of neural representations stored widely throughout neocortex. This consolidation process may require coordinated reactivation of distributed components of memory traces while the cortex is “offline,” i.e., not engaged in processing external stimuli. Simultaneous neural ensemble recordings from four sites in the macaque neocortex revealed such coordinated reactivation. In motor, somatosensory, and parietal cortex (but not prefrontal cortex), the behaviorally induced correlation structure and temporal patterning of neural ensembles within and between regions were preserved, confirming a major tenet of the trace-reactivation theory of memory consolidation.

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