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Published August 23, 2019 | public
Journal Article Open

Persistence of neuronal representations through time and damage in the hippocampus


How do neurons encode long-term memories? Bilateral imaging of neuronal activity in the mouse hippocampus reveals that, from one day to the next, ~40% of neurons change their responsiveness to cues, but thereafter only 1% of cells change per day. Despite these changes, neuronal responses are resilient to a lack of exposure to a previously completed task or to hippocampus lesions. Unlike individual neurons, the responses of which change after a few days, groups of neurons with inter- and intrahemispheric synchronous activity show stable responses for several weeks. The likelihood that a neuron maintains its responsiveness across days is proportional to the number of neurons with which its activity is synchronous. Information stored in individual neurons is relatively labile, but it can be reliably stored in networks of synchronously active neurons.

Additional Information

© 2019 American Association for the Advancement of Science. This is an article distributed under the terms of the Science Journals Default License. Received 7 March 2019; accepted 1 August 2019. W.G.G. was supported by the American Heart Association (grant 17POST33670151), the Della Martin Foundation, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund PDEP (grants 1016194 and 1018228) and CASI awards. The project was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (grant R01NS104925 to C.L.). Author contributions: C.L. and W.G.G. conceived and designed the experiments. W.G.G. designed, built, and implanted microendoscopes in mice. W.G.G., H.Z., and A.H. performed behavior recordings. W.G.G. and H.Z. wrote the analysis code. W.G.G. analyzed and compiled the data. C.L. and W.G.G. wrote the manuscript. The authors declare no competing interests. Data and materials availability: Processes data and MATLAB code are available at the Caltech Research Data Repository (29).

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August 19, 2023
September 8, 2023