Hippocampal theta without pacemakers

Hippocampal theta rhythm is crucial for spatial memory and is thought to be generated by extrinsic inputs. In our Nature Neuroscience paper, though, we show that, using a complete rat hippocampus in vitro, several intrinsic, atropine-resistant theta generators can be found directly in CA1. These oscillators were organized along the septotemporal axis and arose independently from CA3. Our results suggest that CA1 theta rhythm can emerge from the coupling of multiple autonomous hippocampal theta oscillators, without need of external septum pacemakers.

To know more:

  • Goutagny, R., Jackson, J. & Williams, S. Self-generated theta oscillations in the hippocampus. Nat Neurosci 12, 1491–1493 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.2440