Poster Session F, Tuesday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Neural mechanisms of episodic memory reconsolidation: A critical role for prediction error
Alyssa Sinclair1,2, Grace Manalili1, Morgan Barense1; 1University of Toronto, 2Duke University
Through the process of reconsolidation, memories can be reactivated, destabilized, and updated with new information. Recent research has proposed that prediction error, or surprise, is a critical prerequisite for reconsolidation. Yet, the neural mechanisms of this process remain elusive, particularly with regards to naturalistic episodic memories. In our novel fMRI paradigm, we demonstrated that prediction error drives episodic memory reconsolidation. On Day 1, Experimental group participants (N=24) viewed 70 multi-modal videos, each depicting a narrative action-outcome event. During the Day 2 fMRI session, we reactivated these memories by presenting the videos again. Critically, we interrupted half of the videos to violate the action-outcome contingency, thus eliciting a prediction error. On Day 3, we assessed memory for the videos with a structured interview. Control group participants (N=24) completed the memory test on Day 2, preventing the hours-long reconsolidation process. Behaviorally, we found that interrupting videos during reactivation significantly increased subsequent false memories in the Experimental group. In accordance with reconsolidation theory, Control participants exhibited significantly fewer false memories. In an event-related design, we examined neural activity following the offset of each video, including subsequent false memories as a parametric modulator. We found distributed post-video processing in regions including the bilateral hippocampus, dorsal and ventral striatum, and cingulate cortex. Moreover, relative to intact videos, interrupted videos elicited greater activation in the temporoparietal junction, precuneus, and inferior frontal gyrus. For the first time, we demonstrate that prediction error allows naturalistic episodic memories to be altered, and implicate the neural correlates of memory destabilization.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic