Learning-related patterns of CA1 spike trains parallel stimulation parameters optimal for inducing hippocampal long-term potentiation

Hippocampus. 1991 Apr;1(2):181-92. doi: 10.1002/hipo.450010206.


Recent studies have revealed 3 stimulation parameters that together comprise the temporal pattern of neuronal activation optimal for the induction of hippocampal LTP: high-frequency bursts, activity 100-200 ms prior to a burst, and burst delivery in phase with the ongoing hippocampal theta rhythm. The present paper reports that these 3 aspects of patterned neural activity, collectively referred to as "theta-bursting," are characteristic of the spike trains of CA1 pyramidal cells in rats during the sampling and analysis of learning cues in an odor discrimination task and during performances of a spatial memory task. In contrast, theta-bursting occurs relatively infrequently during behavioral events less directly related to task-relevant mnemonic processing. These findings suggest that the optimal conditions for the induction of LTP occur naturally in behaving animals, time-locked to behavioral events critical to learning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology*
  • Memory / physiology
  • Odorants
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology
  • Rats
  • Space Perception / physiology