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Fallacious Reversal of Event-Order During Recall Reveals Memory Reconstruction in Rhesus Monkeys

27 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2019 Sneak Peek Status: Review Complete

See all articles by Lei Wang

Lei Wang

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics

Shuzhen Zuo

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics

Yudian Cai

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics

Boqiang Zhang

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics

Huimin Wang

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics

Yong-di Zhou

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics

Sze Chai Kwok

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics

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Abstract

One of the key features of episodic memory is its lability but whether nonhuman primate species can construct, still less reconstruct, representations of their past remains controversial. Akin to false memories seen in humans, here we show that rhesus macaques are capable of “remaking” or reconstructing memory traces of dynamic, naturalistic video content. First, the monkeys’ temporal order judgement performance increases over repeated viewing of the same videos across days, suggesting they possess long-term memory capacity of hundreds of videos. However, following encoding videos that were displayed in a reverse, out-of-ordinary sequence, monkeys automatically reconstructed details which violate physical normality and assimilated them into long-term memory in accordance to their general understanding of the statistical structure of the environment. This effect in turn produces systematic reversal errors in their subsequent order judgment of events and can be sustained over 1 month. Moreover, this putative memory distortion effect due to incongruence with their priors is significantly accentuated by ecological relevance of the videos. Demonstrating in macaque monkeys a unique form of mnemonic malleability to one’s prior knowledge carries implications for the emergency of memory retrospection in the primates.

Keywords: episodic reconstruction, macaque monkeys, memory transformation, real-world knowledge priors, recollection, temporal-order memory

Suggested Citation

Wang, Lei and Zuo, Shuzhen and Cai, Yudian and Zhang, Boqiang and Wang, Huimin and Zhou, Yong-di and Kwok, Sze Chai, Fallacious Reversal of Event-Order During Recall Reveals Memory Reconstruction in Rhesus Monkeys (August 23, 2019). CURRENT-BIOLOGY-D-19-01355. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3441422 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3441422
This is a paper under consideration at Cell Press and has not been peer-reviewed.

Lei Wang

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics

China

Shuzhen Zuo

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics ( email )

China

Yudian Cai

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics

China

Boqiang Zhang

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics

China

Huimin Wang

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics

China

Yong-di Zhou

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics ( email )

China

Sze Chai Kwok (Contact Author)

East China Normal University (ECNU) - Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics ( email )

China

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