Memory is a complex brain process that requires coordinated activities in a large-scale brain network. However, the relationship between coordinated brain network activities and memory-related behavior is not well understood. In this study, we investigated this issue by suppressing the activity in the dorsal hippocampus (dHP) using chemogenetics and measuring the corresponding changes in brain-wide resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) and memory behavior in awake rats. We identified an extended brain network contributing to the performance in a spatial-memory related task. Our results were cross-validated using two different chemogenetic actuators, clozapine (CLZ) and clozapine-N-oxide (CNO). This study provides a brain network interpretation of memory performance, indicating that memory is associated with coordinated brain-wide neural activities.

Successful memory processes require coordinated activity in a large-scale brain network, extending beyond a few key, well-known brain regions like the hippocampus. However, the specific brain regions involved and how they orchestrate their activity that is pertinent to memory processing remain unclear. Our study, using a chemogenetics-rsfMRI-behavior approach in awake rats, elucidates a comprehensive framework of the extended memory-associated network. This knowledge offers a broader interpretation of memory processes, enhancing our understanding of the neural mechanisms behind memory function, particularly from a network perspective.

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Handling Editor: James Shine

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