Autoassociative dynamics in the generation of sequences of hippocampal place cells

Brad E. Pfeiffer, David J. Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Neuronal circuits produce self-sustaining sequences of activity patterns, but the precise mechanisms remain unknown. Here we provide evidence for autoassociative dynamics in sequence generation. During sharp-wave ripple (SWR) events, hippocampal neurons express sequenced reactivations, which we show are composed of discrete attractors. Each attractor corresponds to a single location, the representation of which sharpens over the course of several milliseconds, as the reactivation focuses at that location. Subsequently, the reactivation transitions rapidly to a spatially discontiguous location. This alternation between sharpening and transition occurs repeatedly within individual SWRs and is locked to the slow-gamma (25 to 50 hertz) rhythm. These findings support theoretical notions of neural network function and reveal a fundamental discretization in the retrieval of memory in the hippocampus, together with a function for gamma oscillations in the control of attractor dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-183
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume349
Issue number6244
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 10 2015

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