1. Neuroscience
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Retrieval practice facilitates memory updating by enhancing and differentiating medial prefrontal cortex representations

  1. Zhifang Ye
  2. Liang Shi
  3. Anqi Li
  4. Chuansheng Chen
  5. Gui Xue  Is a corresponding author
  1. Beijing Normal University, China
  2. University of California, Irvine, United States
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e57023 doi: 10.7554/eLife.57023
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Abstract

Updating old memories with new, more current information is critical for human survival, yet the neural mechanisms for memory updating in general and the effect of retrieval practice in particular are poorly understood. Using a three-day A-B/A-C memory updating paradigm, we found that compared to restudy, retrieval practice could strengthen new A-C memories and reduce old A-B memory intrusion, but did not suppress A-B memories. Neural activation pattern analysis revealed that compared to restudy, retrieval practice led to stronger target representation in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) during the final test. Critically, only under the retrieval practice condition that the MPFC showed strong and comparable competitor evidence for both correct and incorrect trials during final test, and the MPFC target representation during updating was predictive of subsequent memory. These results suggest that retrieval practice could facilitate memory updating by strongly engaging MPFC mechanisms in memory integration, differentiation and consolidation.

Data availability

All fMRI data collected in this study is available on OpenNeuro under the accession number 002773 (https://openneuro.org/datasets/ds002773).

The following data sets were generated

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Zhifang Ye

    State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute of Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0489-2619
  2. Liang Shi

    State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute of Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Anqi Li

    State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute of Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Chuansheng Chen

    Department of Psychological Science, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Gui Xue

    State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute of Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
    For correspondence
    gxue@bnu.edu.cn
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-7891-8151

Funding

National Science Foundation of China (31730038)

  • Gui Xue

The NSFC and the Israel Science Foundation joint project (31861143040)

  • Gui Xue

National Science Foundation of China (61621136008)

  • Gui Xue

German Research Foundation (TRR-169)

  • Gui Xue

Guangdong Pearl River Talents Plan Innovative and Entrepreneurial Team grant (2016ZT06S220)

  • Gui Xue

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

Ethics

Human subjects: Written consent was obtained from each subject after a full explanation of the study procedure. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Boards at Beijing Normal University and the Center for MRI Research at Peking University (#20150401).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Thorsten Kahnt, Northwestern University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: March 18, 2020
  2. Accepted: May 18, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: May 18, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: June 4, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Ye et al.

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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