Ripple While You Walk, and You May Get Lost: Pathological High-Frequency Activity Can Alter Spatial Navigation Circuits

Associated faculty or student(s): Publication Date:
Monday, September 2, 2019

In epilepsy, brain networks generate pathological high-frequency oscillations (pHFOs) during interictal periods. To understand how pHFOs differ from normal oscillations in overlapping frequency bands and potentially perturb hippocampal processing, we performed high-density single unit and local field potential recordings from hippocampi of behaving rats with and without chronic epilepsy. In epileptic animals, we observed 2 types of co-occurring fast oscillations that by comparison to control animals could be classified as “ripple-like” or “pHFO.” We compared their spectral characteristics, brain state dependence, and cellular participants. Strikingly, pHFO occurred irrespective of brain state, were associated with interictal spikes, engaged distinct subnetworks of principal neurons compared to ripple-like events, increased the sparsity of network activity, and initiated both general and immediate disruptions in spatial information coding. Taken together, our findings suggest that events that result in pHFOs have an immediate impact on memory processes, corroborating the need for proper classification of pHFOs to facilitate therapeutic interventions that selectively target pathological activity.


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