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      Storage of 7 +/- 2 short-term memories in oscillatory subcycles.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)

      Computer Simulation, Feedback, Hippocampus, physiology, Humans, Interneurons, Membrane Potentials, Memory, Short-Term, Models, Neurological, Nerve Net, Neurons, Pyramidal Cells

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          Abstract

          Psychophysical measurements indicate that human subjects can store approximately seven short-term memories. Physiological studies suggest that short-term memories are stored by patterns of neuronal activity. Here it is shown that activity patterns associated with multiple memories can be stored in a single neural network that exhibits nested oscillations similar to those recorded from the brain. Each memory is stored in a different high-frequency ("40 hertz") subcycle of a low-frequency oscillation. Memory patterns repeat on each low-frequency (5 to 12 hertz) oscillation, a repetition that relies on activity-dependent changes in membrane excitability rather than reverberatory circuits. This work suggests that brain oscillations are a timing mechanism for controlling the serial processing of short-term memories.

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          7878473

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