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Functional network dynamics of the hippocampus (Leibold, Sirota)


Oscillatory and sequential temporal dynamics are hallmarks of hippocampal physiology and are generally assumed to have functional relevance, yet the mechanistic link between the dynamics and behavior remains largely speculative. Sequential dynamics represents a common feature of population activity in the hippocampus ranging from ripple-associated replay, ascribed to memory consolidation and planning, to theta-cycle-associated phase precession, ascribed to recall/encoding sequence, multi-regional inputs coordination. At the same time theta oscillations regime per se have been hypothesized to provide diverse functions such as a readiness signal, sensory-motor gating, or a temporal framework for synaptic plasticity. In this symposium, we seek to review current hypothesis on how sequential dynamics and theta oscillations relate to behaviour, their interrelation, and to discuss new experimental and theoretical insights.

Optogenetic methods are now starting to get effectively applied to hippocampal systems questions and provide a huge opportunity to test functional hypotheses. There is an ongoing theoretical debate, how much hippocampal sequences are necessary for spatial planning.