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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Sep 4;104(36):14495-500. Epub 2007 Aug 28.

Gamma oscillations dynamically couple hippocampal CA3 and CA1 regions during memory task performance.

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Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University, 197 University Avenue, Newark, NJ 07102, USA.


The hippocampal formation is believed to be critical for the encoding, consolidation, and retrieval of episodic memories. Yet, how these processes are supported by the anatomically diverse hippocampal networks is still unknown. To examine this issue, we tested rats in a hippocampus-dependent delayed spatial alternation task on a modified T maze while simultaneously recording local field potentials from dendritic and somatic layers of the dentate gyrus, CA3, and CA1 regions by using high-density, 96-site silicon probes. Both the power and coherence of gamma oscillations exhibited layer-specific changes during task performance. Peak increases in the gamma power and coherence were found in the CA3-CA1 interface on the maze segment approaching the T junction, independent of motor aspects of task performance. These results show that hippocampal networks can be dynamically coupled by gamma oscillations according to specific behavioral demands. Based on these findings, we propose that gamma oscillations may serve as a physiological mechanism by which CA3 output can coordinate CA1 activity to support retrieval of hippocampus-dependent memories.

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