How to make monkey memories: exploiting the social brain.
The neural signatures of memory formation remain
elusive. Converging evidence from recordings in the
rodent hippocampus and neocortex indicates that memory
traces may be "replayed" offline, facilitating memory
formation. I will describe evidence of memory trace
reactivation in the primate, and the rationale behind
the use of ethologically-relevant stimuli in memory
experiments. I will argue that behavioral and fMRI
data support the assertion that macaques (and their
brains) are specialized for perceiving and learning
about social signals, such as facial identity and
facial expressions. As such, the hunt for the neural
signatures of memory formation may be best served
by the use of these social signals.