For decades, theta rhythms (∼5-10Hz) have been thought to play a critical role in memory processing in the entorhinal-hippocampal network. However, recent evidence suggests that successful memory performance also requires coupling of ∼30-100Hz gamma rhythms to particular phases of the theta cycle. Recent insights imply ways in which theta-gamma coupling may facilitate transfer of information throughout the entorhinal-hippocampal network. Activating gamma-modulated cell assemblies at a particular theta phase may allow the network to produce a more powerful output by ensuring that distributed cells fire closely in time. I hypothesize that such a mechanism would serve to facilitate either memory encoding or memory retrieval, depending on which type of gamma rhythms are recruited.
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