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  Coding of event nodes and narrative context in the hippocampus

Milivojevic, B., Varadinov, M., Grabovetsky, A. V., Collin, S. H., & Doeller, C. F. (2016). Coding of event nodes and narrative context in the hippocampus. The Journal of Neuroscience, 36(49), 12412-12424. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2889-15.2016.

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 Creators:
Milivojevic, Branka1, Author
Varadinov, Meryl1, Author
Grabovetsky, Alejandro Vicente1, Author
Collin, Silvy H.P.1, Author
Doeller, Christian F.1, 2, 3, Author              
Affiliations:
1Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              
2Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Centre for Neural Computation, Egil and Pauline Braathen and Fred Kavli Centre for Cortical Microcircuits, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, St. Olav's University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: context; hippocampus; memory; narrative; nodal representations; remapping
 Abstract: Narratives may provide a general context, unrestricted by space and time, which can be used to organize episodic memories into networks of related events. However, it is not clear how narrative contexts are represented in the brain. Here we test the novel hypothesis that the formation of narrative-based contextual representations in humans relies on the same hippocampal mechanisms that enable formation of spatiotemporal contexts in rodents. Participants watched a movie consisting of two interleaved narratives while we monitored their brain activity using fMRI. We used representational similarity analysis, a type of multivariate pattern analysis, which uses across-voxel correlations as a proxy for neural-pattern similarity, to examine whether the patterns of neural activity can be used to differentiate between narratives and recurring narrative elements, such as people and locations. We demonstrate that the neural activity patterns in the hippocampus differentiate between event nodes (people and locations) and narratives (different stories) and that these narrative-context representations diverge gradually over time akin to remapping-induced spatial maps represented by rodent place cells. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Narratives, especially in movie format, are very engaging and can be used to investigate neural mechanisms underlying cognitive functions in more naturalistic settings than that of traditional paradigms. Narratives also provide a more general context, unrestricted by space and time, that can be used to organize memories into networks of related events. For this reason, narratives are ideally suited to engage neural mechanisms underlying episodic memory formation. In this study, participants watched a movie with two interleaved narratives while their brain activity was monitored using fMRI. We show that the hippocampus, which is involved in formation of spatiotemporal contexts in episodic memory, also represents gradually diverging narrative contexts as well as narrative elements, such as people and locations.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2016-06-062015-07-312016-06-282016-12-07
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2889-15.2016
PMID: 27927958
 Degree: -

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Title: The Journal of Neuroscience
  Other : The Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : J. Neurosci.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Washington, DC : Society of Neuroscience
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 36 (49) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 12412 - 12424 Identifier: ISSN: 0270-6474
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925502187_1