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Hippocampal reactivation of random trajectories resembling Brownian Diffusion

Stella, Federico, Baracskay, Peter, O'Neill, Joseph and Csicsvari, Jozsef 2019. Hippocampal reactivation of random trajectories resembling Brownian Diffusion. Neuron 102 (2) , 450-461.e7. 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.01.052

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Hippocampal activity patterns representing movement trajectories are reactivated in immobility and sleep periods, a process associated with memory recall, consolidation, and decision making. It is thought that only fixed, behaviorally relevant patterns can be reactivated, which are stored across hippocampal synaptic connections. To test whether some generalized rules govern reactivation, we examined trajectory reactivation following non-stereotypical exploration of familiar open-field environments. We found that random trajectories of varying lengths and timescales were reactivated, resembling that of Brownian motion of particles. The animals’ behavioral trajectory did not follow Brownian diffusion demonstrating that the exact behavioral experience is not reactivated. Therefore, hippocampal circuits are able to generate random trajectories of any recently active map by following diffusion dynamics. This ability of hippocampal circuits to generate representations of all behavioral outcome combinations, experienced or not, may underlie a wide variety of hippocampal-dependent cognitive functions such as learning, generalization, and planning.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0896-6273
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 April 2019
Date of Acceptance: 25 January 2019
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2021 01:53

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