The hippocampus is a limbic structure that plays a critical role in the formation, consolidation and recall of various forms of memory, including episodic and spatial memory. How do such complex cognitive functions emerge from the activity of hippocampal neurons and their interactions with cortical and subcortical structures? One key property of the hippocampal network that has gained tremendous interest in recent years is its ability to encode and reactivate sequential activity patterns: specific subgroups of neurons become successively active, either in response to the ongoing behavioral and cognitive context, or spontaneously during recall, decision making and sleep.
Our research has contributed to establish that in the spatial domain, fast sequential activation of hippocampal ‘place cells’ appears to underlie certain forms of spatial learning, and that during subsequent sleep, reactivation of the same sequences plays a critical role in memory consolidation via a hippocampo-cortical dialogue.
Salle de Conférences R229 – Campus Saint-Germain-des-Prés – 45 rue des Saints-Pères – 75006 Paris