A retinotopic code structures the interaction between perception and memory systems

Adam Steel*, Edward H. Silson, Brenda D. Garcia, Caroline E. Robertson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Conventional views of brain organization suggest that regions at the top of the cortical hierarchy processes internally oriented information using an abstract amodal neural code. Despite this, recent reports have described the presence of retinotopic coding at the cortical apex, including the default mode network. What is the functional role of retinotopic coding atop the cortical hierarchy? Here we report that retinotopic coding structures interactions between internally oriented (mnemonic) and externally oriented (perceptual) brain areas. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we observed robust inverted (negative) retinotopic coding in category-selective memory areas at the cortical apex, which is functionally linked to the classic (positive) retinotopic coding in category-selective perceptual areas in high-level visual cortex. These functionally linked retinotopic populations in mnemonic and perceptual areas exhibit spatially specific opponent responses during both bottom-up perception and top-down recall, suggesting that these areas are interlocked in a mutually inhibitory dynamic. These results show that retinotopic coding structures interactions between perceptual and mnemonic neural systems, providing a scaffold for their dynamic interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalNature Neuroscience
Early online date2 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jan 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • cognitive neuroscience
  • learning and memory
  • neuroscience
  • visual system


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