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Neuronal assembly dynamics in the beta1 frequency range permits short-term memory

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Miles Whittington


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Cell assemblies have long been thought to be associated with brain rhythms, notably the gamma rhythm. Here, we use a computational model to show that the beta1 frequency band, as found in rat association cortex, has properties complementary to the gamma band for the creation and manipulation of cell assemblies. We focus on the ability of the beta1 rhythm to respond differently to familiar and novel stimuli, and to provide a framework for combining the two. Simulations predict that assemblies of superficial layer pyramidal cells can be maintained in the absence of continuing input or synaptic plasticity. Instead, the formation of these assemblies relies on the nesting of activity within a beta1 rhythm. In addition, cells receiving further input after assembly formation produce coexistent spiking activity, unlike the competitive spiking activity characteristic of assembly formation with gamma rhythms.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kopell N, Whittington MA, Kramer MA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Year: 2011

Volume: 108

Issue: 9

Pages: 3779-3784

Print publication date: 14/02/2011

ISSN (print): 0027-8424

ISSN (electronic): 1091-6490

Publisher: National Academy of Sciences


DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1019676108


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Funder referenceFunder name
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
DMS-0717670National Science Foundation