Active experience, not time, determines within-day representational drift in dorsal CA1

Neuron. 2023 Aug 2;111(15):2348-2356.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2023.05.014. Epub 2023 Jun 13.


Memories of past events can be recalled long after the event, indicating stability. But new experiences are also integrated into existing memories, indicating plasticity. In the hippocampus, spatial representations are known to remain stable but have also been shown to drift over long periods of time. We hypothesized that experience, more than the passage of time, is the driving force behind representational drift. We compared the within-day stability of place cells' representations in dorsal CA1 of the hippocampus of mice traversing two similar, familiar tracks for different durations. We found that the more time the animals spent actively traversing the environment, the greater the representational drift, regardless of the total elapsed time between visits. Our results suggest that spatial representation is a dynamic process, related to the ongoing experiences within a specific context, and is related to memory update rather than to passive forgetting.

Keywords: CA1; hippocampus; one-photon Ca2+ imaging; place cells; reconsolidation; remapping; representational drift.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gravitation
  • Hippocampus*
  • Mental Recall
  • Mice
  • Place Cells*