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Published May 2022 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Properties and hemispheric differences of theta oscillations in the human hippocampus


The left and right primate hippocampi (LH and RH) are thought to support distinct functions, but little is known about differences between the hemispheres at the neuronal level. We recorded single-neuron and local field potentials from the human hippocampus in epilepsy patients implanted with depth electrodes. We detected theta-frequency bouts of oscillatory activity while patients performed a visual recognition memory task. Theta appeared in bouts of 3.16 cycles, with sawtooth-shaped oscillations that had a prolonged downswing period. Outside the seizure onset zone, the average frequency of theta bouts was higher in the RH compared to the LH (6.0 vs. 5.3 Hz). LH theta bouts had lower amplitudes and a higher prevalence compared to the RH (26% vs. 21% of total time). Additionally, the RH contained a population of thin spiking visually tuned neurons that were not present in the LH. These data show that human theta appears in short oscillatory bouts whose properties vary between hemispheres, thereby revealing neurophysiological properties of the hippocampus that differ between the hemispheres.

Additional Information

© 2022 Wiley Periodicals LLC. Issue Online: 09 April 2022; Version of Record online: 01 March 2022; Manuscript accepted: 16 February 2022; Manuscript revised: 15 February 2022; Manuscript received: 10 August 2021. This study was supported by the National Science Foundation (BCS-1554105 to Ueli Rutishauser) and the National Institute of Health (R01MH110831, U01NS103792 to Ueli Rutishauser). The authors would like to thank the patients for their time and willingness to participate in this study, members of Rutishauser Lab for discussion, and the physicians and staff of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for their support. Funding information: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Grant/Award Numbers: U01NS117839, U01NS103792; National Science Foundation (NSF), Grant/Award Number: BCS-1554105; National Institute of Mental Health, Grant/Award Number: R01MH110831/ The authors declare no conflict of interests. Data Availability Statement: The behavior and single-neuron data analyzed here are available in the standardized Neural data without Borders (NWB) format under 10.17605/OSF.IO/HV7JA. The LFP data are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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August 22, 2023
October 23, 2023