Hippocampal-Prefrontal Network For Memory-Guided Decision Making

Jadhav SP*, Rothschild G*, Roumis DR, Frank LM (2016), “Coordinated excitation and inhibition of prefrontal ensembles during awake hippocampal sharp-wave ripple events”, Neuron, 90(1):113-27. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.02.010
  This study showed that awake SWR replay during quiet waking states (when animals are inactive) corresponds to mental replay of ongoing spatial experiences. The hippocampus, the brain’s memory hub, communicates during awake replay with a decision-making area in the brain’s executive hub, prefrontal cortex (PFC), thus identifying a circuit for experience-informed decision making in rats. We further showed that active online processing of external information in the brain’s executive hub is inhibited during SWR activity bursts, transitioning rapidly to an internal replay process. This study demonstrated that strongly coordinated activity within this hippocampal-prefrontal circuit during awake replay is likely to optimize the brain’s ability to consolidate memories and use them to decide on future actions, and laid the foundation for future investigations of the role of awake replay in memory.

Featured in a NIH news article:
“Circuit for experience-informed decision making”.
Also, see a related review:
Shin JD, Jadhav SP (2016), “Multiple modes of hippocampal-prefrontal interactions in memory-guided behavior”, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 40:161-169.