Characteristic Neural Firing Profiles in Different Hippocampal Subfields for Successful and Unsuccessful Memory
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Memory is our ability to encode, store, retrain, and subsequently recall information and past experiences. Different areas of the brain are responsible for different aspects of memory, including the hippocampus which enables us to form, organize, and store new memories. Numerous research studies show that the hippocampal subfields are affected by memory related diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Schizophrenia in different ways. Understanding what the different hippocampal subfields do is important for basic science, but also for understanding neurodegenerative disorders which are associated with structural and functional abnormalities of hippocampal neurons. In order to examine the effects of memory success and failure of the firing patterns of the hippocampal neurons in the different subfields, I used a unique dataset, published by Faraut et al (2018), of a large sample of intracranial neural spiking data from humans.) and ran a hierarchical clustering algorithm on the neural firing patterns. Results suggest that the neurons in the different hippocampus subfields (CA1, CA2, CA3, and DG) have certain firing profiles which as a result causes them to group together according to these specific subfields. These firing patters were different in some degree depending on weather on successful and unsuccessful memory – and thus suggest each subfield processes memories in a different way.