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Learning-Related Synaptic Reconfiguration in Hippocampal Networks: Memory Storage or Waveguide Tuning?

Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA

Special Issues: What hypotheses can be supported as alternatives (or parallels) to synaptic plasticity as substrates for learning and consolidation of memory in the brain?

A fundamental assumption of current hypotheses regarding hippocampal involvement in memory formation is that changes in synaptic connections between hippocampal neurons serve to encode information about recent events. An alternative possibility is that synaptic changes are “ruts” left by dynamic traveling waves involved in memory processes rather than a mechanism for storing memories of events. Specifically, traveling waves of activity in corticohippocampal circuits may sometimes modify those circuits as they propagate through them, thereby changing the paths and qualities of future wave patterns.
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