Sequential hippocampal reactivation might participate in decision-making in humans

Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019

First posted on July 11, 2019 by Princeton Neuroscience Institute 

Electrophysiological recordings in rats and mice have shown that specific hippocampal neuronal activity patterns are sequentially reactivated during rest periods or sleep. Does the human hippocampus also replay activity sequences, even in a nonspatial task, such as, for example, decision-making?

 

Princeton Neuroscience Institute Professor Yael Niv and Nicolas Schuck of Max Planck Research Group studied functional magnetic resonance imaging signals in subjects after they had learned a decision-making task. While people rested, the replay of activity patterns in the hippocampus reflected the order of previous task-state sequences. Thus, sequential hippocampal reactivation might participate in decision-making in humans.

 

Their results support the importance of sequential reactivation in the human hippocampus for nonspatial decision-making and establish the feasibility of investigating such rapid signals with fMRI, despite substantial limitations in temporal resolution.

 

Read the full paper published 28 June 2019 in Science: Sequential replay of nonspatial task states in the human hippocampus