Uncovering Camouflage: Amygdala Activation Predicts Long-Term Memory of Induced Perceptual Insight

Rachel Ludmer, Yadin Dudai, Nava Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What brain mechanisms underlie learning of new knowledge from single events? We studied encoding in long-term memory of a unique type of one-shot experience, induced perceptual insight. While undergoing an fMRI brain scan, participants viewed degraded images of real-world pictures where the underlying objects were hard to recognize (" camouflage" ), followed by brief exposures to the original images (" solution" ), which led to induced insight (" Aha!" ). A week later, the participants' memory was tested; a solution image was classified as " remembered" if detailed perceptual knowledge was elicited from the camouflage image alone. During encoding, subsequently remembered images were associated with higher activity in midlevel visual cortex and medial frontal cortex, but most pronouncedly, in the amygdala, whose activity could be used to predict which solutions will remain in long-term memory. Our findings extend the known roles of amygdala in memory to include promotion of long-term memory of the sudden reorganization of internal representations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1002-1014
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 10 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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