Cell Reports (Jun 2021)

Stability of ripple events during task engagement in human hippocampus

  • Yvonne Y. Chen,
  • Lyndsey Aponik-Gremillion,
  • Eleonora Bartoli,
  • Daniel Yoshor,
  • Sameer A. Sheth,
  • Brett L. Foster

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 35, no. 13
p. 109304


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Summary: High-frequency activity bursts in the hippocampus, known as ripples, are thought to support memory consolidation during “offline” states, such as sleep. Recently, human hippocampal ripples have been observed during “online” episodic memory tasks. It remains unclear whether similar ripple activity occurs during other cognitive states, including different types of episodic memory. However, identifying genuine ripple events in the human hippocampus is challenging. To address these questions, spectro-temporal ripple identification was applied to human hippocampal recordings across a variety of cognitive tasks. Overall, ripple attributes were stable across tasks of visual perception and associative memory, with mean rates lower than offline states of rest and sleep. In contrast, while more complex visual attention tasks did not modulate ripple attributes, rates were enhanced for more complex autobiographical memory conditions. Therefore, hippocampal ripples reliably occur across cognitive states but are specifically enhanced during offline states and complex memory processes, consistent with a role in consolidation.