Current and future goals are represented in opposite patterns in object-selective cortex

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Adaptive behavior requires the separation of current from future goals in working memory. We used fMRI of object-selective cortex to determine the representational (dis)similarities of memory representations serving current and prospective perceptual tasks. Participants remembered an object drawn from three possible categories as the target for one of two consecutive visual search tasks. A cue indicated whether the target object should be looked for first (currently relevant), second (prospectively relevant), or if it could be forgotten (irrelevant). Prior to the first search, representations of current, prospective and irrelevant objects were similar, with strongest decoding for current representations compared to prospective (Experiment 1) and irrelevant (Experiment 2). Remarkably, during the first search, prospective representations could also be decoded, but revealed anti-correlated voxel patterns compared to currently relevant representations of the same category. We propose that the brain separates current from prospective memories within the same neuronal ensembles through opposite representational patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere38677
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournaleLife
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2018

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Episodic Memory
Psychological Adaptation
Short-Term Memory
Cues
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Data storage equipment
Brain
Decoding
Experiments

Cite this

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title = "Current and future goals are represented in opposite patterns in object-selective cortex",
abstract = "Adaptive behavior requires the separation of current from future goals in working memory. We used fMRI of object-selective cortex to determine the representational (dis)similarities of memory representations serving current and prospective perceptual tasks. Participants remembered an object drawn from three possible categories as the target for one of two consecutive visual search tasks. A cue indicated whether the target object should be looked for first (currently relevant), second (prospectively relevant), or if it could be forgotten (irrelevant). Prior to the first search, representations of current, prospective and irrelevant objects were similar, with strongest decoding for current representations compared to prospective (Experiment 1) and irrelevant (Experiment 2). Remarkably, during the first search, prospective representations could also be decoded, but revealed anti-correlated voxel patterns compared to currently relevant representations of the same category. We propose that the brain separates current from prospective memories within the same neuronal ensembles through opposite representational patterns.",
author = "{van Loon}, {Anouk Mariette} and Katya Olmos-Solis and Fahrenfort, {Johannes Jacobus} and Olivers, {Christian N.L.}",
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Current and future goals are represented in opposite patterns in object-selective cortex. / van Loon, Anouk Mariette; Olmos-Solis, Katya; Fahrenfort, Johannes Jacobus; Olivers, Christian N.L.

In: eLife, Vol. 7, e38677, 05.11.2018, p. 1-25.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - van Loon, Anouk Mariette

AU - Olmos-Solis, Katya

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AB - Adaptive behavior requires the separation of current from future goals in working memory. We used fMRI of object-selective cortex to determine the representational (dis)similarities of memory representations serving current and prospective perceptual tasks. Participants remembered an object drawn from three possible categories as the target for one of two consecutive visual search tasks. A cue indicated whether the target object should be looked for first (currently relevant), second (prospectively relevant), or if it could be forgotten (irrelevant). Prior to the first search, representations of current, prospective and irrelevant objects were similar, with strongest decoding for current representations compared to prospective (Experiment 1) and irrelevant (Experiment 2). Remarkably, during the first search, prospective representations could also be decoded, but revealed anti-correlated voxel patterns compared to currently relevant representations of the same category. We propose that the brain separates current from prospective memories within the same neuronal ensembles through opposite representational patterns.

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