Dynamics of the hippocampal ensemble code for space

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Science  20 Aug 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5124, pp. 1055-1058
DOI: 10.1126/science.8351520


Ensemble recordings of 73 to 148 rat hippocampal neurons were used to predict accurately the animals' movement through their environment, which confirms that the hippocampus transmits an ensemble code for location. In a novel space, the ensemble code was initially less robust but improved rapidly with exploration. During this period, the activity of many inhibitory cells was suppressed, which suggests that new spatial information creates conditions in the hippocampal circuitry that are conducive to the synaptic modification presumed to be involved in learning. Development of a new population code for a novel environment did not substantially alter the code for a familiar one, which suggests that the interference between the two spatial representations was very small. The parallel recording methods outlined here make possible the study of the dynamics of neuronal interactions during unique behavioral events.

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