Remapping of memory encoding and retrieval networks: insights from neuroimaging in primates.
Miyamoto K., Osada T., Adachi Y.
Advancements in neuroimaging techniques have allowed for the investigation of the neural correlates of memory functions in the whole human brain. Thus, the involvement of various cortical regions, including the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC), has been repeatedly reported in the human memory processes of encoding and retrieval. However, the functional roles of these sites could be more fully characterized utilizing nonhuman primate models, which afford the potential for well-controlled, finer-scale experimental procedures that are inapplicable to humans, including electrophysiology, histology, genetics, and lesion approaches. Yet, the presence and localization of the functional counterparts of these human memory-related sites in the macaque monkey MTL or PPC were previously unknown. Therefore, to bridge the inter-species gap, experiments were required in monkeys using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the same methodology adopted in human studies. Here, we briefly review the history of experimentation on memory systems using a nonhuman primate model and our recent fMRI studies examining memory processing in monkeys performing recognition memory tasks. We will discuss the memory systems common to monkeys and humans and future directions of finer cell-level characterization of memory-related processes using electrophysiological recording and genetic manipulation approaches.