A human memory circuit derived from brain lesions causing amnesia

Michael A. Ferguson, Chun Lim, Danielle Cooke, R. Ryan Darby, Ona Wu, Natalia S. Rost, Maurizio Corbetta, Jordan Grafman, Michael D. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Human memory is thought to depend on a circuit of connected brain regions, but this hypothesis has not been directly tested. We derive a human memory circuit using 53 case reports of strokes causing amnesia and a map of the human connectome (n = 1000). This circuit is reproducible across discovery (n = 27) and replication (n = 26) cohorts and specific to lesions causing amnesia. Its hub is at the junction of the presubiculum and retrosplenial cortex. Connectivity with this single location defines a human brain circuit that incorporates > 95% of lesions causing amnesia. Lesion intersection with this circuit predicts memory scores in two independent datasets (N1 = 97, N2 = 176). This network aligns with neuroimaging correlates of episodic memory, abnormalities in Alzheimer’s disease, and brain stimulation sites reported to enhance memory in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3497
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


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