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      Theta Rhythms Coordinate Hippocampal–Prefrontal Interactions in a Spatial Memory Task

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      1 , ¤ , , 1

      PLoS Biology

      Public Library of Science

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          Abstract

          Decision-making requires the coordinated activity of diverse brain structures. For example, in maze-based tasks, the prefrontal cortex must integrate spatial information encoded in the hippocampus with mnemonic information concerning route and task rules in order to direct behavior appropriately. Using simultaneous tetrode recordings from CA1 of the rat hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex, we show that correlated firing in the two structures is selectively enhanced during behavior that recruits spatial working memory, allowing the integration of hippocampal spatial information into a broader, decision-making network. The increased correlations are paralleled by enhanced coupling of the two structures in the 4- to 12-Hz theta-frequency range. Thus the coordination of theta rhythms may constitute a general mechanism through which the relative timing of disparate neural activities can be controlled, allowing specialized brain structures to both encode information independently and to interact selectively according to current behavioral demands.

          Abstract

          Simultaneous electrophysiological recordings from CA1 of the rat hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex reveal enhanced correlated activity between the two structures selectively during behavior that recruits spatial working memory.

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          Most cited references 49

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          Theta oscillations in the hippocampus.

          Theta oscillations represent the "on-line" state of the hippocampus. The extracellular currents underlying theta waves are generated mainly by the entorhinal input, CA3 (Schaffer) collaterals, and voltage-dependent Ca(2+) currents in pyramidal cell dendrites. The rhythm is believed to be critical for temporal coding/decoding of active neuronal ensembles and the modification of synaptic weights. Nevertheless, numerous critical issues regarding both the generation of theta oscillations and their functional significance remain challenges for future research.
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            Neuronal synchrony: a versatile code for the definition of relations?

             W. Singer (1999)
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              Statistical Analysis of Circular Data

               N. FISHER (1993)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                PLoS Biol
                pbio
                PLoS Biology
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1544-9173
                1545-7885
                December 2005
                15 November 2005
                : 3
                : 12
                Affiliations
                1The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, RIKEN-MIT Neuroscience Research Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America
                University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
                Article
                10.1371/journal.pbio.0030402
                1283536
                16279838
                Copyright: © 2005 Jones and Wilson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Animal Behavior
                Neuroscience
                Physiology
                Rattus (Rat)

                Life sciences

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