Understanding memory through hippocampal remapping

Trends Neurosci. 2008 Sep;31(9):469-77. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2008.06.008. Epub 2008 Aug 5.


Memory interference is a common cause of forgetting. Interference is a byproduct of the need to balance the formation of well-differentiated representations against the ability to retrieve memories from cues that are not identical to the original experience. How the brain accomplishes this has remained elusive. Here we review how insights can be gained from studies of an apparently unrelated phenomenon in the rodent brain--remapping in hippocampal place cells. Remapping refers to the formation of distinct representations in populations of place cells after minor changes in inputs to the hippocampus. Remapping might reflect processes involved generally in decorrelation of overlapping signals. These processes might be crucial for storing large numbers of similar experiences with only minimal interference.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology
  • Spatial Behavior / physiology