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Self-generated theta oscillations in the hippocampus


Hippocampal theta rhythm is crucial for spatial memory and is thought to be generated by extrinsic inputs. In contrast, using a complete rat hippocampus in vitro, we found several intrinsic, atropine-resistant theta generators in CA1. These oscillators were organized along the septotemporal axis and arose independently from CA3. Our results suggest that CA1 theta rhythm can emerge from the coupling of multiple autonomous hippocampal theta oscillators.

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Figure 1: Descriptive properties of theta rhythm in the isolated hippocampus.
Figure 2: Topography of the spontaneous theta oscillation recorded in CA1.
Figure 3: Synaptic activity during the spontaneous theta oscillations.


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We thank M. Danik, G. Ducharme, C.K. Young, C.T. Dickson and G. Buzsaki for their comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec. R.G. was supported by the Conrad F. Harrington post-doctoral fellowship from the McGill Faculty of Medicine. J.J. received a Canadian Graduate Scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and S.W. is a Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec chercheur boursier ''senior.''

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R.G., J.J. and S.W. designed the experiments, R.G. and J.J. performed the experiments and analyzed the data, and R.G., J.J. and S.W. wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Sylvain Williams.

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Supplementary Figures 1–13, Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Methods and Supplementary Discussion (PDF 1827 kb)

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Goutagny, R., Jackson, J. & Williams, S. Self-generated theta oscillations in the hippocampus. Nat Neurosci 12, 1491–1493 (2009).

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