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Neuron. 2000 Sep;27(3):623-33.

Hippocampal neurons encode information about different types of memory episodes occurring in the same location.

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Laboratory of Cognitive Neurobiology, Boston University, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Firing patterns of hippocampal complex-spike neurons were examined for the capacity to encode information important to the memory demands of a task even when the overt behavior and location of the animal are held constant. Neuronal activity was recorded as rats continuously alternated left and right turns from the central stem of a modified T maze. Two-thirds of the cells fired differentially as the rat traversed the common stem on left-turn and right-turn trials, even when potentially confounding variations in running speed, heading, and position on the stem were taken into account. Other cells fired differentially on the two trial types in combination with behavioral and spatial factors or appeared to fire similarly on both trial types. This pattern of results suggests that hippocampal representations encode some of the information necessary for representing specific memory episodes.

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