Neuronal diversity and temporal dynamics: the unity of hippocampal circuit operations

Science. 2008 Jul 4;321(5885):53-7. doi: 10.1126/science.1149381.


In the cerebral cortex, diverse types of neurons form intricate circuits and cooperate in time for the processing and storage of information. Recent advances reveal a spatiotemporal division of labor in cortical circuits, as exemplified in the CA1 hippocampal area. In particular, distinct GABAergic (gamma-aminobutyric acid-releasing) cell types subdivide the surface of pyramidal cells and act in discrete time windows, either on the same or on different subcellular compartments. They also interact with glutamatergic pyramidal cell inputs in a domain-specific manner and support synaptic temporal dynamics, network oscillations, selection of cell assemblies, and the implementation of brain states. The spatiotemporal specializations in cortical circuits reveal that cellular diversity and temporal dynamics coemerged during evolution, providing a basis for cognitive behavior.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cognition
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid