Memory Replay in the Hippocampus: What is it Good for?

4 views • May 20, 2021


Author Name


Loren Frank

Professor at University of California, San Francisco

Field of Study: Biology , Published 10 Projects

Planning CA1 CA3 Decision Making Neuroscience

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This talk roughly contains 2 papers:

1. Hippocampal replay of experience at real-world speeds

Representations of past and possible future experiences play a critical role in memory and decision-making processes. The hippocampus expresses these types of representations during sharp-wave ripple (SWR) events, and previous work identified a minority of SWRs that contain “replay” of spatial trajectories at ~20x real-world speeds. Efforts to understand replay typically make multiple assumptions about which events to examine and what sorts of representations constitute replay. We therefore lack a clear understanding of both the prevalence and the range of representational dynamics associated with replay. Here we develop a state space model that uses a combination of movement dynamics of different speeds to capture the spatial content and time evolution of replay during SWRs. Using this model, we find that the large majority of replay events contain spatially coherent, interpretable content. Furthermore, most events progress at real-world, rather than accelerated, movement speeds, consistent with actual experiences.

2. Hippocampal replay reflects specific past experiences rather than a plan for subsequent choice

Executing memory-guided behavior requires both the storage of information about experience and the later recall of that information to inform choices. Awake hippocampal replay, when hippocampal neural ensembles briefly reactivate a representation related to prior experience, has been proposed to critically contribute to these memory-related processes. However, it remains unclear whether awake replay contributes to memory function by promoting the storage of past experiences, by facilitating planning based on an evaluation of those experiences, or by a combination of the two. We designed a dynamic spatial task which promotes replay before a memory-based choice and assessed how the content of replay related to past and future behavior. We found that replay was decoupled from subsequent choice and instead was enriched for representations of previously rewarded locations and places that had not been recently visited, indicating a role in memory storage rather than in directly guiding subsequent behavior.

Neuroscience 52 Projects
Hippocampus 7 Projects
Sharp-Wave Ripples
Sharp-Wave Ripples 2 Projects
Memory 5 Projects
Memory Replay
Memory Replay 1 Project

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