Hippocampal ripples as a mode of communication with cortical and subcortical areas

Ralitsa Todorova, Michaël Zugaro
Hippocampus 2018 August 1
Hippocampal sharp wave-ripple complexes are transient events of highly synchronous neuronal activity that typically occur during 'offline' brain states. This endogenous surge of activity consists in behaviorally relevant spiking patterns, describing spatial trajectories. They have been shown to play a critical role in memory consolidation during sleep and in navigational planning during wake. Beyond their local impact within the hippocampal formation, ripples also exert direct and indirect effects on target cortical and subcortical areas, which are thought to play a key role in information processing and semantic network reconfiguration. We review research into the function of hippocampal sharp waves-ripples, with a special focus on information flow between the hippocampus and its cortical and subcortical targets. First, we briefly review seminal work establishing a causal role of ripple-related activity in cognitive processes. We then review evidence for a functional interplay between hippocampal ripples and specific patterns of cortical and subcortical activity. Finally, we discuss the critical role of the functional coupling between ripples and other sleep rhythms, including the cortical slow oscillation and thalamocortical sleep spindles. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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