Spatial Sequence Coding Differs during Slow and Fast Gamma Rhythms in the Hippocampus

Neuron. 2016 Jan 20;89(2):398-408. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.12.005. Epub 2016 Jan 7.


Spatiotemporal trajectories are coded by "theta sequences," ordered series of hippocampal place cell spikes that reflect the order of behavioral experiences. Theta sequences are thought to be organized by co-occurring gamma rhythms (∼25-100 Hz). However, how sequences of locations are represented during distinct slow (∼25-55 Hz) and fast (∼60-100 Hz) gamma subtypes remains poorly understood. We found that slow gamma-associated theta sequences activated on a compressed timescale and represented relatively long paths extending ahead of the current location. Fast gamma-associated theta sequences more closely followed an animal's actual location in real time. When slow gamma occurred, sequences of locations were represented across successive slow gamma phases. Conversely, fast gamma phase coding of spatial sequences was not observed. These findings suggest that slow gamma promotes activation of temporally compressed representations of upcoming trajectories, whereas fast gamma supports coding of ongoing trajectories in real time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Gamma Rhythm / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Theta Rhythm / physiology*