Prefrontal feature representations drive memory recall.

TitlePrefrontal feature representations drive memory recall.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsYadav N, Noble C, Niemeyer JE, Terceros A, Victor J, Liston C, Rajasethupathy P
Date Published2022 Jul 13

Memory formation involves binding of contextual features into a unitary representation1-4, whereas memory recall can occur using partial combinations of these contextual features. The neural basis underlying the relationship between a contextual memory and its constituent features is not well understood; in particular, where features are represented in the brain and how they drive recall. Here, to gain insight into this question, we developed a behavioural task in which mice use features to recall an associated contextual memory. We performed longitudinal imaging in hippocampus as mice performed this task and identified robust representations of global context but not of individual features. To identify putative brain regions that provide feature inputs to hippocampus, we inhibited cortical afferents while imaging hippocampus during behaviour. We found that whereas inhibition of entorhinal cortex led to broad silencing of hippocampus, inhibition of prefrontal anterior cingulate led to a highly specific silencing of context neurons and deficits in feature-based recall. We next developed a preparation for simultaneous imaging of anterior cingulate and hippocampus during behaviour, which revealed robust population-level representation of features in anterior cingulate, that lag hippocampus context representations during training but dynamically reorganize to lead and target recruitment of context ensembles in hippocampus during recall. Together, we provide the first mechanistic insights into where contextual features are represented in the brain, how they emerge, and how they access long-range episodic representations to drive memory recall.

Alternate JournalNature
PubMed ID35831504