Hippocampus replays memories and preplays to extend memories into future scenarios

This 2013 MIT rodent study of the hippocampus portion of the limbic system focused on the “place” cells in the CA1 segment of the hippocampus.

During rest and sleep, the subjects’ hippocampi replayed and consolidated memories. They also preplayed events in the place cells to imagine future scenarios of “novel spatial experiences of similar distinctiveness and complexity.”

Hippocampal preplaying was advantageous when venturing into new locations because:

“The selection of specific sequences from a larger preconfigured repertoire confers the hippocampal network with the capacity to rapidly encode multiple parallel novel experiences.”

http://www.pnas.org/content/110/22/9100.full “Distinct preplay of multiple novel spatial experiences in the rat”

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