A01 A02 A03 A04 A05 A06 A07 A09 A10 A11 A12 A13 A14 A18 A19 A21 F01 F02 INF

A02 – Neural mechanisms of context generalization

Nikolai Axmacher

While extinction is context-dependent, acquisition contexts generalize easily. Here, we investigate how context generalization is controlled by neural activity in core regions of the extinction network. The generalization and distinctiveness of neural context representations will be assessed via multivariate analysis methods. Combining simultaneous EEG/fMRI recordings in healthy participants with intracranial EEG and single-unit recordings in epilepsy patients, we will identify the neural mechanisms that control if contexts generalize or stay distinct, and if renewal or extinction retrieval occurs. Our data will provide a unique bridge between human neuroimaging and animal electrophysiology studies of extinction learning.

Guiding questions of A02:

  • How are specific contexts represented in the human brain across several levels of brain organization?
  • How do the neural representations of contexts change during initial acquisition and extinction learning?
  • Is the generalization or distinctiveness of context representations during acquisition and extinction predictive of renewal or extinction retrieval?
  • Which neural mechanisms support these representational changes?

Nikolai Axmacher

Projektleiter A02, A03, F02

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Antoine Bouyeure

Postdoc A02

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

10 project-relevant publications

Bierbrauer A, Kunz L, Gomes CA, Luhmann M, Deuker L, Getzmann S, Wascher E, Gajewski PD, Hengstler JG, Fernandez-Alvarez M, Atienza M, Cammisuli DM, Bonatti F, Pruneti C, Percesepe A, Bellaali Y, Hanseeuw B, Strange BA, Cantero JL, Axmacher N (2020) Unmasking selective path integration deficits in Alzheimer‘s disease risk carriers. Sci Adv. 6(35): eaba1394.

Fellner MC, Gollwitzer S, Rampp S, Kreiselmeyr G, Bush D, Diehl B, Axmacher N, Hamer H, Hanslmayr S (2019) Spectral fingerprints or spectral tilt? Evidence for distinct oscillatory signatures of memory formation. PLOS Biol. 17(7): e3000403.

Fellner MC, Waldhauser GT, Axmacher N (2020) Tracking Selective Rehearsal and Active Inhibition of Memory Traces in Directed Forgetting. Curr Biol. 30(13): 2638–2644.e4.

Kessler H, Schmidt AC, James EL, Blackwell SE, Rauchhaupt M, Harren K, Kehyayan A, Clark IA, Sauvage M, Herpertz S, Axmacher N, Holmes EA (2020) Visuospatial computer game play after memory reminder delivered three days after a traumatic film reduces the number of intrusive memories of the experimental trauma. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 67: 101454.

Kunz L, Wang L, Lachner-Piza D, Zhang H, Brandt A, Dümpelmann M, Reinacher PC, Coenen VA, Chen D, Wang WX, Zhou W, Liang S, Grewe P, Bien CG, Bierbrauer A, Navarro Schröder T, Schulze-Bonhage A, Axmacher N (2019) Hippocampal theta phases organize the reactivation of large-scale electrophysiological representations during goal-directed navigation. Sci Adv. 5(7): eaav8192.

Lee H, Stirnberg R, Wu S, Wang X, Stöcker T, Jung S, Montag C, Axmacher N (2020) Genetic Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Affects the Neural Mechanisms of Pattern Separation in Hippocampal Subfields. Curr Biol. 30: 4201–4212.e3.

Oehrn CR, Fell J, Baumann C, Rosburg T, Ludowig E, Kessler H, Hanslmayr S, Axmacher N (2018) Direct Electrophysiological Evidence for Prefrontal Control of Hippocampal Processing during Voluntary Forgetting. Curr Biol. 28(18): 3016–3022.e4.

Pacheco ED, Sánchez-Fibla M, Duff A, Principe A, Rocamora R, Zhang H, Axmacher N, Verschure PFMJ (2019) Coordinated representational reinstatement in the human hippocampus and lateral temporal cortex during episodic memory retrieval. Nat Commun. 10(1): 2255.

Waldhauser GT, Dahl MJ, Ruf-Leuschner M, Müller-Bamouh V, Schauer M, Axmacher N, Elbert T, Hanslmayr S (2018) The neural dynamics of deficient memory control in heavily traumatized refugees. Sci Rep. 8(1): 13132.

Zhang H, Fell J, Axmacher N (2018) Electrophysiological mechanisms of human memory consolidation. Nat Commun. 9(1): 4103.