Send to

Choose Destination
Neuron. 2001 Apr;30(1):289-98.

Human hippocampal neurons predict how well word pairs will be remembered.

Author information

Division of Neurosurgery, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


What is the neuronal basis for whether an experience is recalled or forgotten? In contrast to recognition, recall is difficult to study in nonhuman primates and rarely is accessible at the single neuron level in humans. We recorded 128 medial temporal lobe (MTL) neurons in patients implanted with intracranial microelectrodes while they encoded and recalled word paired associates. Neurons in the amygdala, entorhinal cortex, and hippocampus showed altered activity during encoding (9%), recall (22%), and both task phases (23%). The responses of hippocampal neurons during encoding predicted whether or not subjects later remembered the pairs successfully. Entorhinal cortex neuronal activity during retrieval was correlated with recall success. These data provide support at the single neuron level for MTL contributions to encoding and retrieval, while also suggesting there may be differences in the level of contribution of MTL regions to these memory processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center