Prefrontal phase locking to hippocampal theta oscillations

Neuron. 2005 Apr 7;46(1):141-51. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2005.02.028.


The interactions between cortical and hippocampal circuits are critical for memory formation, yet their basic organization at the neuronal network level is not well understood. Here, we demonstrate that a significant portion of neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex of freely behaving rats are phase locked to the hippocampal theta rhythm. In addition, we show that prefrontal neurons phase lock best to theta oscillations delayed by approximately 50 ms and confirm this hippocampo-prefrontal directionality and timing at the level of correlations between single cells. Finally, we find that phase locking of prefrontal cells is predicted by the presence of significant correlations with hippocampal cells at positive delays up to 150 ms. The theta-entrained activity across cortico-hippocampal circuits described here may be important for gating information flow and guiding the plastic changes that are believed to underlie the storage of information across these networks.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Theta Rhythm*