When we remember an event, it is as if we travel back in time to the original experience of that event. In this study, we asked whether this reinstatement also happens for simple audio-visual associations.
We found that we could predict the remembered orientations from the activity patterns in visual cortex for our participants. Interestingly, the better we could predict, the higher the activity was in the hippocampus. These findings suggest that the hippocampus supports memory reinstatement in early visual cortex.
This study was a collaboration between Christian Doeller’s, Janneke Jehee’s and Guillen Fernandez’ research groups at the Donders Institute at Radboud University and Radboudumc, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. This work was supported by the ERC (Doeller).
Participants learned to pair tones with oriented visual gratings. In the fMRI scanner, they were presented with tones and remembered the associated orientations.