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Published June 26, 2020 | Accepted Version + Submitted + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Flexible recruitment of memory-based choice representations by human medial-frontal cortex


Flexibly switching between different tasks is a fundamental human cognitive ability that allows us to make selective use of only the information needed for a given decision. Minxha et al. used single-neuron recordings from patients to understand how the human brain retrieves memories on demand when needed for making a decision and how retrieved memories are dynamically routed in the brain from the temporal to the frontal lobe. When memory was not needed, only medial frontal cortex neural activity was correlated with the task. However, when outcome choices required memory retrieval, frontal cortex neurons were phase-locked to field potentials recorded in the medial temporal lobe. Therefore, depending on demands of the task, neurons in different regions can flexibly engage and disengage their activity patterns.

Additional Information

© 2020 American Association for the Advancement of Science. This is an article distributed under the terms of the Science Journals Default License. Received 25 November 2019; accepted 4 May 2020. We thank the members of the Adolphs and Rutishauser labs for discussion, Columbia Theory Center members F. Stefanini and M. Rigotti for sharing their population decoding analysis expertise, and the staff and J. M. Chung and C. M. Reed of the Cedars-Sinai Epilepsy Monitoring unit for their support. We thank all subjects and their families for their participation. Funding: This work was supported by NIMH (R01MH110831 to U.R.), the BRAIN initiative through the NIH Office of the Director (U01NS103792 to U.R.), the Caltech NIMH Conte Center (P50MH094258 to R.A. and U.R.), the National Science Foundation (CAREER Award BCS-1554105 to U.R. and NeuroNex Program award DBI-1707398 to S.F.), a Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award from the McKnight Foundation for Neuroscience (to U.R.), and the Simons Foundation Collaboration on the Global Brain (542941 to R.A. and PG007079 to S.F.). Author contributions: J.M., U.R., and R.A. designed the study. J.M. performed the experiments. J.M., S.F., and U.R. analyzed the data. J.M., U.R., R.A., and S.F. wrote the paper. A.N.M. performed surgery and supervised clinical work. Competing interests: None. Data and materials availability: Data needed to reproduce results (firing rates of all neurons versus time, precomputed phase-coherence measures for all neurons) have been deposited at OSF (80).

Attached Files

Accepted Version - nihms-1628379.pdf

Submitted - 809673.full.pdf

Supplemental Material - aba3313_Minxha_SM.pdf

Supplemental Material - aba3313_S1.mov


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August 19, 2023
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