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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2013 Oct;105:200-10. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2013.06.019. Epub 2013 Jul 6.

On initial Brain Activity Mapping of episodic and semantic memory code in the hippocampus.

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Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute, Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA. Electronic address:


It has been widely recognized that the understanding of the brain code would require large-scale recording and decoding of brain activity patterns. In 2007 with support from Georgia Research Alliance, we have launched the Brain Decoding Project Initiative with the basic idea which is now similarly advocated by BRAIN project or Brain Activity Map proposal. As the planning of the BRAIN project is currently underway, we share our insights and lessons from our efforts in mapping real-time episodic memory traces in the hippocampus of freely behaving mice. We show that appropriate large-scale statistical methods are essential to decipher and measure real-time memory traces and neural dynamics. We also provide an example of how the carefully designed, sometime thinking-outside-the-box, behavioral paradigms can be highly instrumental to the unraveling of memory-coding cell assembly organizing principle in the hippocampus. Our observations to date have led us to conclude that the specific-to-general categorical and combinatorial feature-coding cell assembly mechanism represents an emergent property for enabling the neural networks to generate and organize not only episodic memory, but also semantic knowledge and imagination.


BRAIN project; Brain Activity Map; Concepts; Delusion; Episodic memory; Fear conditioning; Imagination; Semantic knowledge

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