Contextual memory networks in monkey brains

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Science  17 Jul 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6245, pp. 280-281
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6245.280-f

Memory tasks activate a number of areas in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Lesions in this region cause memory deficits; however, lesions in only a fraction of the activated areas actually lead to severe memory loss. Osada et al. measured whole-brain activity during a memory task in monkeys. The activated areas and their task-specific functional connectivity formed a hierarchical network centered on a hub. This functional hub largely matched the documented sites where lesions had the most dramatic effect. Neighboring sites where lesions had no impact were much less affected. The functional connections of an area predicted the degree of memory loss much better than its role in the anatomical network.

PLOS Biol. 10.1371/journal. pbio.1002177 (2015).

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