Phase coding offers several theoretical advantages for information transmission compared to an equivalent rate code. Phase coding is shown by place cells in the rodent hippocampal formation, which fire at progressively earlier phases of the movement related 6-12Hz theta rhythm as their spatial receptive fields are traversed. Importantly, however, phase coding is independent of carrier frequency, and so we asked whether it might also be exhibited by place cells during 150-250Hz ripple band activity, when they are thought to replay information to neocortex. We demonstrate that place cells which fire multiple spikes during candidate replay events do so at progressively earlier ripple phases, and that spikes fired across all replay events exhibit a negative relationship between decoded location within the firing field and ripple phase. These results provide insights into the mechanisms underlying phase coding and place cell replay, as well as the neural code propagated to downstream neurons.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience