Reactivation of schema representation in lateral occipital cortex supports successful memory encoding

Dingrong Guo, Jiongjiong Yang

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Schemas provide a scaffold onto which we can integrate new memories. Previous research has investigated the brain activity and connectivity underlying schema-related memory formation. However, how schemas are represented and reactivated in the brain, in order to enhance memory, remains unclear. To address this issue, we used an object–location spatial schema that was learned over multiple sessions, combined with similarity analyses of neural representations, to investigate the reactivation of schema representations of object–location memories when a new object–scene association is learned. In addition, we investigated how this reactivation affects subsequent memory performance under different strengths of schemas. We found that reactivation of a schema representation in the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) during object–scene encoding affected subsequent associative memory performance only in the schema-consistent condition and increased the functional connectivity between the LOC and the parahippocampal place area. Taken together, our findings provide new insight into how schema acts as a scaffold to support the integration of novel information into existing cortical networks and suggest a neural basis for schema-induced rapid cortical learning.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)5968–5980
Number of pages13
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number10
Early online date15 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2023


  • hippocampus
  • rapid cortical learning
  • representational similarity analysis
  • schema
  • vmPFC

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