Dopaminergic neurons promote hippocampal reactivation and spatial memory persistence

Nat Neurosci. 2014 Dec;17(12):1658-60. doi: 10.1038/nn.3843. Epub 2014 Oct 19.


We found that optogenetic burst stimulation of hippocampal dopaminergic fibers from midbrain neurons in mice exploring novel environments enhanced the reactivation of pyramidal cell assemblies during subsequent sleep/rest. When applied during spatial learning of new goal locations, dopaminergic photostimulation improved the later recall of neural representations of space and stabilized memory performance. These findings reveal that midbrain dopaminergic neurons promote hippocampal network dynamics associated with memory persistence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dopaminergic Neurons / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology
  • Mesencephalon / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Random Allocation
  • Spatial Behavior / physiology*
  • Spatial Memory / physiology*