Hippocampal place cells are activated sequentially as an animal explores its environment. These activity sequences are internally recreated ("replayed"), either in the same or reversed order, during bursts of activity (sharp wave-ripples; SWRs) that occur in sleep and awake rest. SWR-associated replay is thought to be critical for the creation and maintenance of long-term memory. We sought to identify the cellular and network mechanisms of SWRs and replay by constructing and simulating a data-driven model of area CA3 of the hippocampus. Our results show that the structure of recurrent excitatory interactions established during learning not only determines the content of replay, but is essential for the generation of the SWRs as well. We find that bidirectional replay requires the interplay of the experimentally confirmed, temporally symmetric plasticity rule, and cellular adaptation. Our model provides a unifying framework for diverse phenomena involving hippocampal plasticity, representations, and dynamics.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience