Poster E119, Monday, March 27, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
How we transmit memories to other brains: constructing shared neural representations via communication
Asieh Zadbood1,2, Janice Chen1,2, Yuan Chang Leong3, Kenneth Norman1,2, Uri Hasson1,2; 1Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08544, USA., 2Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08544, USA., 3Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.
It is striking that humans are able to encode and later verbally share their memories of an episode with listeners, who are in turn able to imagine (mentally construct) details of the episode which they have not personally experienced. However, it is unknown how strongly the neural patterns elicited by imagining specific episodes resemble the neural states elicited during the original encoding of those episodes. In the current study, using fMRI and a natural communication task, we traced how neural patterns associated with specific scenes depicted in a movie are encoded, verbally recalled, and then transferred to a group of naive listeners who construct the scenes of the movie in their imagination. By comparing neural patterns across the three conditions, we report, for the first time, that event-specific neural patterns are observed in the default mode network (DMN) and shared across the encoding, reinstatement (spoken recall), and new construction (imagination) of the same real-life episode. This study uncovers the intimate correspondences between memory encoding and imagination, and highlights the essential role that our common language plays in the process of transmitting one's experiences to other brains.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Multisensory