Human memory is strongly influenced by brain states occurring before an event, yet we know little about the underlying mechanisms. We found that activity in the cingulo-opercular network (including bilateral anterior insula [aI] and anterior prefrontal cortex [aPFC]) seconds before an event begins can predict whether this event will subsequently be remembered. We then tested how activity in the cingulo-opercular network shapes memory performance. Our findings indicate that prestimulus cingulo-opercular activity affects memory performance by opposingly modulating subsequent activity in two sets of regions previously linked to encoding and retrieval of episodic information. Specifically, higher prestimulus cingulo-opercular activity was associated with a subsequent increase in activity in temporal regions previously linked to encoding and with a subsequent reduction in activity within a set of regions thought to play a role in retrieval and self-referential processing. Together, these findings suggest that prestimulus attentional states modulate memory for real-life events by enhancing encoding and possibly by dampening interference from competing memory substrates.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
EP7 Human Brain Project (to N.C., A.B.Y., R.P., and Y.D.); Israeli Center of Research Excellence in the Cognitive Sciences of the Planning and Grants Committee; Israeli Science Foundation (Grant 51/11 to R.P. and Y.D.); the Blavatnik Postdoctoral Fellowship (to A.B.Y); Fulbright, Israeli Science Foundation (Grant 61/16); Israel Council for Higher Education Postdoctoral Fellowships (to N.C).
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- cingulo-opercular network
- episodic memory
- subsequent memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience