Hippocampal polysynaptic computation

J Neurosci. 2011 Sep 14;31(37):13168-79. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1920-11.2011.


Neural circuitry is a self-organizing arithmetic device that converts input to output and thereby remodels its computational algorithm to produce more desired output; however, experimental evidence regarding the mechanism by which information is modified and stored while propagating across polysynaptic networks is sparse. We used functional multineuron calcium imaging to monitor the spike outputs from thousands of CA1 neurons in response to the stimulation of two independent sites of the dentate gyrus in rat hippocampal networks ex vivo. Only pyramidal cells were analyzed based on post hoc immunostaining. Some CA1 pyramidal cells were observed to fire action potentials only when both sites were simultaneously stimulated (AND-like neurons), whereas other neurons fired in response to either site of stimulation but not to concurrent stimulation (XOR-like neurons). Both types of neurons were interlaced in the same network and altered their logical operation depending on the timing of paired stimulation. Repetitive paired stimulation for brief periods induced a persistent reorganization of AND and XOR operators, suggesting a flexibility in parallel distributed processing. We simulated these network functions in silico and found that synaptic modification of the CA3 recurrent excitation is pivotal to the shaping of logic plasticity. This work provides new insights into how microscopic synaptic properties are associated with the mesoscopic dynamics of complex microcircuits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / physiology*
  • CA3 Region, Hippocampal / physiology*
  • Cell Count
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*