Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Cogn Sci. 2011 Jul;15(7):310-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2011.05.008. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

The hippocampus: hub of brain network communication for memory.

Author information

Center for Neuroscience - Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Postbus 94246, 1090GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


A complex brain network, centered on the hippocampus, supports episodic memories throughout their lifetimes. Classically, upon memory encoding during active behavior, hippocampal activity is dominated by theta oscillations (6-10Hz). During inactivity, hippocampal neurons burst synchronously, constituting sharp waves, which can propagate to other structures, theoretically supporting memory consolidation. This 'two-stage' model has been updated by new data from high-density electrophysiological recordings in animals that shed light on how information is encoded and exchanged between hippocampus, neocortex and subcortical structures such as the striatum. Cell assemblies (tightly related groups of cells) discharge together and synchronize across brain structures orchestrated by theta, sharp waves and slow oscillations, to encode information. This evolving dynamical schema is key to extending our understanding of memory processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center