The Hippocampal Film Editor: Sensitivity and Specificity to Event Boundaries in Continuous Experience.
Ben Yakov Breslav, Aya
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
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Ben Yakov Breslav, A., & Henson, R. (2018). The Hippocampal Film Editor: Sensitivity and Specificity to Event Boundaries in Continuous Experience.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 38 (47), 10057-10068. https://doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.0524-18.2018
The function of the human hippocampus is normally investigated by experimental manipulation of discrete events. Less is unknown about what triggers hippocampal activity during more naturalistic, continuous experience. We hypothesized that the hippocampus would be sensitive to the occurrence of event boundaries, i.e. moments in time identified by observers as a transition between events. To address this, we analysed functional MRI data from two groups: one (N=253, 131 female) who viewed an 8.5min film and another (N=15, 6 female) who viewed a 120min film. We observed a strong hippocampal response at boundaries defined by independent observers, which was modulated by boundary strength (the number of observers that identified each boundary). In the longer film, there were sufficient boundaries to show that this modulation remained after covarying out a large number of perceptual factors. The hippocampus was the only brain region whose response showed a significant monotonic increase with boundary strength in both films, suggesting that modulation by boundary strength is selective to the hippocampus. This hypothesis-driven approach was complemented by a data-driven approach, in which we identified hippocampal-events as moments in time with the strongest hippocampal activity: The correspondence between these hippocampal-events and event boundaries was highly-significant, revealing that the hippocampal response is not only sensitive, but also specific to event boundaries. We conclude that the hippocampus plays an important role in segmenting the continuous experience that is typical of naturalistic settings.
Hippocampus, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Sensitivity and Specificity, Photic Stimulation, Memory, Motion Pictures, Adolescent, Adult, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Young Adult
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/8)
Embargo Lift Date
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.0524-18.2018
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/282941
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/