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Trends Neurosci. 2006 Jan;29(1):48-57. Epub 2005 Dec 1.

Organizing principles of real-time memory encoding: neural clique assemblies and universal neural codes.

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Center for Systems Neurobiology, Departments of Pharmacology and Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


Recent identification of network-level coding units, termed neural cliques, in the hippocampus has enabled real-time patterns of memory traces to be mathematically described, directly visualized, and dynamically deciphered. These memory coding units are functionally organized in a categorical and hierarchical manner, suggesting that internal representations of external events in the brain is achieved not by recording exact details of those events, but rather by recreating its own selective pictures based on cognitive importance. This neural-clique-based hierarchical-extraction and parallel-binding process enables the brain to acquire not only large storage capacity but also abstraction and generalization capability. In addition, activation patterns of the neural clique assemblies can be converted to strings of binary codes that would permit universal categorizations of internal brain representations across individuals and species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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