Tuning Conceptual Knowledge through Hippocampal-Prefrontal Interactions
Concepts organise the relationship among individual stimuli or events by highlighting shared features. Often, new goals require updating conceptual knowledge to reflect relationships based on different goal-relevant features. For example, a burglar and an estate agent would organise knowledge about the contents of a flat differently. This type of learning is enabled by interactions between the hippocampus (HPC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Model-based analysis reveals that when task goals change, object representations in HPC can be organised in new ways, resulting in updated concepts that highlight the features most critical to the new goal. The role of the medial PFC is to develop a "compression" code based on the current task goals. I will conclude by considering the nature of these codes given that fMRI can reveal them, despite limitations in fMRI's temporal and spatial resolution.