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PLoS One. 2013 Sep 2;8(9):e73114. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073114. eCollection 2013.

Rapid and continuous modulation of hippocampal network state during exploration of new places.

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UCSF Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Department of Physiology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America ; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas, United States of America.


Hippocampal information processing is often described as two-state, with a place cell state during movement and a reactivation state during stillness. Relatively little is known about how the network transitions between these different patterns of activity during exploration. Here we show that hippocampal network changes quickly and continuously as animals explore and become familiar with initially novel places. We measured the relationship between moment-by-moment changes in behavior and information flow through hippocampal output area CA1 in rats. We examined local field potential (LFP) patterns, evoked potentials and ensemble spiking and found evidence suggestive of a smooth transition from strong CA3 drive of CA1 activity at low speeds to entorhinal cortical drive of CA1 activity at higher speeds. These changes occurred with changes in behavior on a timescale of less than a second, suggesting a continuous modulation of information processing in the hippocampal circuit as a function of behavioral state.

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