Oscillations and hippocampal-prefrontal synchrony

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2011 Jun;21(3):467-74. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2011.04.006. Epub 2011 May 14.


The hippocampus, a structure required for many types of memory, connects to the medial prefrontal cortex, an area that helps direct neuronal information streams during intentional behaviors. Increasing evidence suggests that oscillations regulate communication between these two regions. Theta rhythms may facilitate hippocampal inputs to the medial prefrontal cortex during mnemonic tasks and may also integrate series of functionally relevant gamma-mediated cell assemblies in the medial prefrontal cortex. During slow-wave sleep, temporal coordination of hippocampal sharp wave-ripples and medial prefrontal cortex spindles may be an important component of the process by which memories become hippocampus-independent. Studies using rodent models indicate that oscillatory phase-locking is disturbed in schizophrenia, emphasizing the need for more studies of oscillatory synchrony in the hippocampal-prefrontal network.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Brain Waves / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Periodicity*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*