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Behav Brain Res. 2010 Dec 31;215(2):261-74. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2009.12.010. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

Cellular dynamical mechanisms for encoding the time and place of events along spatiotemporal trajectories in episodic memory.

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  • 1Center for Memory and Brain, Department of Psychology and Program in Neuroscience, Boston University, 2 Cummington Street, Boston, MA 02215, USA. hasselmo@bu.edu


Understanding the mechanisms of episodic memory requires linking behavioral data and lesion effects to data on the dynamics of cellular membrane potentials and population interactions within brain regions. Linking behavior to specific membrane channels and neurochemicals has implications for therapeutic applications. Lesions of the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex and subcortical nuclei impair episodic memory function in humans and animals, and unit recording data from these regions in behaving animals indicate episodic memory processes. Intracellular recording in these regions demonstrates specific cellular properties including resonance, membrane potential oscillations and bistable persistent spiking that could underlie the encoding and retrieval of episodic trajectories. A model presented here shows how intrinsic dynamical properties of neurons could mediate the encoding of episodic memories as complex spatiotemporal trajectories. The dynamics of neurons allow encoding and retrieval of unique episodic trajectories in multiple continuous dimensions including temporal intervals, personal location, the spatial coordinates and sensory features of perceived objects and generated actions, and associations between these elements. The model also addresses how cellular dynamics could underlie unit firing data suggesting mechanisms for coding continuous dimensions of space, time, sensation and action.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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