Integrating What and When Across the Primate Medial Temporal Lobe

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Science  05 Aug 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6043, pp. 773-776
DOI: 10.1126/science.1206773

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Episodic memory or memory for the detailed events in our lives is critically dependent on structures of the medial temporal lobe (MTL). A fundamental component of episodic memory is memory for the temporal order of items within an episode. To understand the contribution of individual MTL structures to temporal-order memory, we recorded single-unit activity and local field potential from three MTL areas (hippocampus and entorhinal and perirhinal cortex) and visual area TE as monkeys performed a temporal-order memory task. Hippocampus provided incremental timing signals from one item presentation to the next, whereas perirhinal cortex signaled the conjunction of items and their relative temporal order. Thus, perirhinal cortex appeared to integrate timing information from hippocampus with item information from visual sensory area TE.

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