Hundreds of mouse brain cells have been simultaneously recorded in an effort to identify how memories are formed and stored.

To date, brain activity has typically only been measured in a few neurons at a time. However, complex behaviors such remembering involve groups of neurons that work together.



Using a specially developed 96-channel electrode array, Joe Tsien of Boston and Princeton universities and colleagues simultaneously recorded the electrical activity of up to 260 individual neurons in the mouse hippocampus, where memories of places and events are formed.



Exposing electrode-implanted mice to startling stimuli, the researchers found that each startling episode produced different brain activity patterns.



Study revealed that a set of coding units the researchers call “neural cliques” were responsible for encoding. The activation patterns of the coding units appear to be universal across different mice, suggesting a common language for storing memories.



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