Research Article

Hippocampal sharp-wave ripples linked to visual episodic recollection in humans

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Science  16 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6454, eaax1030
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax1030

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Sharp-wave ripples in the hippocampus

What are the brain mechanisms responsible for episodic memory retrieval? Norman et al. investigated epilepsy patients who had electrodes implanted in the hippocampus and a variety of cortical areas. Using a visual learning paradigm, they examined the temporal relationship between the incidence of hippocampal sharp-wave ripples and recall. Effective encoding of visual information was associated with higher incidence of ripples. Successful recall was preceded by an increased probability of ripples, which were also associated with transient reemergence of activation patterns in higher visual cortical areas. Hippocampal ripples may thus boost recollections during episodic memory retrieval.

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