Relating the past with the present: Information integration and segregation during ongoing narrative processing

Claire H. C. Chang, Christina Lazaridi, Yaara Yeshurun, Kenneth A. Norman, Uri Hasson

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Jan 24, 2020
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Received Date: 16th January 20

Real-life events unfold continuously over multiple minutes. In this study, in order to examine how the brain continuously integrates information while segregating the accumulated information from irrelevant inputs, a professional writer actively designed a narrative. Two unrelated storylines were interleaved across 30 one-minute segments (ABAB) and merged in a last (C) part, where narrative motifs unique to the A or B storylines recurred to induce  reinstatement. Our fMRI results showed neural reinstatement of storylines and motifs in regions with long processing timescale, including the default mode network, suggesting that past information can be segregated from irrelevant inputs in an inactive state for minutes. The reactivated storyline representation was updated by integrating new segments, as reflected by the increasing neural differentiation between storylines. Furthermore, we found a positive correlation between neural reinstatement of motifs and behavioral performance in relating separated events connected by motifs, again demonstrating information integration during continuous processing.

Read in full at bioRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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