Human ‘time neurons’ encode specific moments in time


Hippocampal neurons fire at successive moments of a temporal interval. This shows the firing activity of the population of time cells (N=128). Each row shows the firing activity for an individual time cell, averaged across trials. The x-axis corresponds to time of the median trial length. The neurons are sorted by the latency of the maximum firing rate. Credit: Reddy et al., JNeurosci 2021

Neurons in the hippocampus fire during specific moments in time, according to research recently published in JNeurosci. The cells may contribute to memory by encoding information about the time and order of events.

Episodic memories involve remembering the “what, where, and when” of past experiences. The “where” may be encoded by place cells in the hippocampus, which fire in response to specific locations. Rodents have hippocampal neurons that fire in response to specific moments in time—the “when”—but until recently it was not known if the human brain contained them too.

Reddy et al. recorded the electrical activity of neurons in the hippocampus of epilepsy patients undergoing diagnostic invasive monitoring for surgery. During the recording, the participants viewed and memorized a sequence of 5 to 7 images. At random intervals, the participants were quizzed on the next image in the sequence before it resumed. Time-sensitive neurons fired during specific moments in time between quizzes, irrespective of the image. The neurons still tracked time even during 10-second gaps with no images while the participants waited. The researchers could decode different moments in time based on the activity of the entire group of neurons.

These results demonstrate the human brain contains time-tracking neurons.


Imagining a face reactivates face-detecting neurons in humans


More information:
Human Hippocampal Neurons Track Moments in a Sequence of Events, JNeurosci (2021). DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3157-20.2021

Provided by
Society for Neuroscience

Citation:
Human ‘time neurons’ encode specific moments in time (2021, June 28)
retrieved 28 June 2021
from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-human-neurons-encode-specific-moments.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.



Source Link


DISCLAIMER

This blog is for information purposes only. The content is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Should you have a medical or dermatological problem, please consult with your physician. None of the information or recommendations on this website should be interpreted as medical advice.

All product reviews, recommendations, and references are based on the author’s personal experience and impressions using the products. All views and opinions are the author’s own.

This blog post may contain affiliate links. An affiliate link means we may earn a commission if you click on a link and make a purchase, without any extra cost to you.

Please see our Disclaimer for more information.

DrAbout.Net

The leading source for trustworthy and timely health and medical news and information. Providing credible health information, supportive community, and educational services by blending award-winning expertise in content, community services, expert commentary, and medical review. Everything about health is here with the difference of Dr.About

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button