Neural mechanisms for detecting and remembering novel events

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2003 Mar;4(3):193-202. doi: 10.1038/nrn1052.


The ability to detect and respond to novel events is crucial for survival in a rapidly changing environment. Four decades of neuroscientific research has begun to delineate the neural mechanisms by which the brain detects and responds to novelty. Here, we review this research and suggest how changes in neural processing at the cellular, synaptic and network levels allow us to detect, attend to and subsequently remember the occurrence of a novel event.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Primates
  • Rodentia
  • Synapses / physiology