What is it about?

When you rest, your brain replays the traces of recent memories in order to consolidate and stabilise them. We show that this process coincides with specific patterns of network activity in the brain that are collectively referred to as the default mode network, suggesting that this network plays an important role subserving offline memory consolidation.

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Why is it important?

There is limited understanding of how memories can be consolidated and reinforced without creating interference with our ongoing cognition. We show that specific network patterns associated with inhibition of sensory input and internally oriented attention subserve memory consolidation. This suggests an overarching mechanism for how the brain balances the concurrent requirements of cognition and memory maintenance whilst minimising interference between them.

Perspectives

This shines a light on the potential of resting state networks - which can be very reliably and robustly measured in a noninvasive fashion - to shed light on ongoing cognitive processes and how they are related.

Cameron Higgins
University of Oxford

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This page is a summary of: Replay bursts in humans coincide with activation of the default mode and parietal alpha networks, Neuron, March 2021, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.12.007.
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