Mapping sequence structure in the human lateral entorhinal cortex


Remembering event sequences is central to episodic memory and presumably supported by the hippocampal-entorhinal region. We previously demonstrated that the hippocampus maps spatial and temporal distances between events encountered along a route through a virtual city (Deuker et al., 2016), but the content of entorhinal mnemonic representations remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that multi-voxel representations in the anterior-lateral entorhinal cortex (alEC) — the human homologue of the rodent lateral entorhinal cortex — specifically reflect the temporal event structure after learning. Holistic representations of the sequence structure related to memory recall and the timeline of events could be reconstructed from entorhinal multi-voxel patterns. Our findings demonstrate representations of temporal structure in the alEC; dovetailing with temporal information carried by population signals in the lateral entorhinal cortex of navigating rodents and alEC activations during temporal memory retrieval. Our results provide novel evidence for the role of the alEC in representing time for episodic memory.