Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Hippocampal Memory Formation Revisited

STKE  26 Jul 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 294, pp. tw274
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2942005tw274

What is the role of the hippocampus in spatial representation versus representation of episodic and other nonspatial information? Leutgeb et al. (see the Perspective by Buzsáki) find that hippocampal neurons have independent coding schemes for location and for what happens at a location. Changes in spatial location are represented as changes in location of firing in hippocampal place cells, whereas changes in cue configuration at a single location are represented by changes in firing rate. These results explain how, depending on the choice of dependent variables, different results have been obtained. The combination and integration of spatial and nonspatial information in the hippocampal output may form the neural basis for the role of the hippocampus in episodic memory.

S. Leutgeb, J. K. Leutgeb, C. A. Barnes, E. I. Moser, B. L. McNaughton, M.-B. Moser, Independent codes for spatial and episodic memory in hippocampal neuronal ensembles. Science 309, 619-623 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]

G. Buzsáki, Similar is different in hippocampal networks. Science 309, 568-569 (2005). [Summary] [Full Text]