Peri-encoding predictors of memory encoding and consolidation

Noga Cohen, Liat Pell, Micah G. Edelson, Aya Ben-Yakov, Alex Pine, Yadin Dudai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We review reports of brain activations that occur immediately prior to the onset or following the offset of to-be-remembered information and can predict subsequent mnemonic success. Memory-predictive pre-encoding processes, occurring from fractions of a second to minutes prior to event onset, are mainly associated with activations in the medial temporal lobe (MTL), amygdala and midbrain, and with enhanced theta oscillations. These activations may be considered as the neural correlates of one or more cognitive operations, including contextual processing, attention, and the engagement of distinct computational modes associated with prior encoding or retrieval. Post-encoding activations that correlate with subsequent memory performance are mainly observed in the MTL, sensory cortices and frontal regions. These activations may reflect binding of elements of the encoded information and initiation of memory consolidation. In all, the findings reviewed here illustrate the importance of brain states in the immediate peri-encoding time windows in determining encoding success. Understanding these brain states and their specific effects on memory may lead to optimization of the encoding of desired memories and mitigation of undesired ones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-142
Number of pages15
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
N.C. is supported by the EP7 Human Brain Project. Y.D. is supported by the Center of Research Excellence in the Cognitive Sciences (I- CORE) of the Planning and Grants Committee and Israeli Science Foundation (Grant 51/11) and by the EP7 Human Brain Project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Consolidation
  • Encoding
  • Hippocampus
  • MTL
  • Post-stimulus
  • Pre-stimulus
  • Subsequent memory
  • Theta rhythm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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