Physiological Signature of Memory Age in the Prefrontal-Hippocampal Circuit


The long-term storage of episodic memory requires communication between prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. However, how consolidation alters dynamic interactions between these regions during subsequent recall remains unexplored. Here we perform simultaneous electrophysiological recordings from anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and hippocampal CA1 in mice during recall of recent and remote contextual fear memory. We find that, in contrast to recent memory, remote memory recall is accompanied by increased ACC-CA1 synchronization at multiple frequency bands. The augmented ACC-CA1 interaction is associated with strengthened coupling among distally spaced CA1 neurons, suggesting an ACC-driven organization of a sparse code. This robust shift in physiology permits a support vector machine classifier to accurately determine memory age on the basis of the ACC-CA1 synchronization pattern. Our findings reveal that memory consolidation alters the dynamic coupling of the prefrontal-hippocampal circuit and results in a physiological signature of memory age.

Cell Reports, Volume 29, Issue 12, 17 December 2019, Pages 3835-3846.e5
Yuichi Makino
Research Scientist