Cortico-hippocampal network connections support the multidimensional quality of episodic memory

  1. Rose A Cooper  Is a corresponding author
  2. Maureen Ritchey
  1. Boston College, United States


Episodic memories reflect a bound representation of multimodal features that can be reinstated with varying precision. Yet little is known about how brain networks involved in memory, including the hippocampus and posterior-medial (PM) and anterior-temporal (AT) systems, interact to support the quality and content of recollection. Participants learned color, spatial, and emotion associations of objects, later reconstructing the visual features using a continuous color spectrum and 360-degree panorama scenes. Behaviorally, dependencies in memory were observed for the gist but not precision of event associations. Supporting this integration, hippocampus, AT, and PM regions showed increased connectivity and reduced modularity during retrieval compared to encoding. These inter-network connections tracked a multidimensional, objective measure of memory quality. Moreover, distinct patterns of connectivity tracked item color and spatial memory precision. These findings demonstrate how hippocampal-cortical connections reconfigure during episodic retrieval, and how such dynamic interactions might flexibly support the multidimensional quality of remembered events.

Data availability

Data and code have been made available via GitHub:

The following data sets were generated
The following previously published data sets were used

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Rose A Cooper

    Department of Psychology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, United States
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-1521-8371
  2. Maureen Ritchey

    Department of Psychology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-5957-3642


National Institutes of Health (R00MH103401)

  • Maureen Ritchey

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.


Human subjects: Informed consent was obtained from all participants prior to the experiment. Procedures were approved by the Boston College Institutional Review Board (17.026).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Muireann Irish, University of Sydney, Australia

Publication history

  1. Received: January 28, 2019
  2. Accepted: March 22, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: March 22, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: April 5, 2019 (version 2)


© 2019, Cooper & Ritchey

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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  1. Rose A Cooper
  2. Maureen Ritchey
Cortico-hippocampal network connections support the multidimensional quality of episodic memory
eLife 8:e45591.
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