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Novelty detection and encoding for declarative memory within the human hippocampus

Novelty detection and encoding for declarative memory within the human hippocampus

Authors: 
T. Grunwald & M. Kurthen
Year: 
2006
Journal: 
Clinical EEG and Neuroscience
Abstract: 

Intracranial recordings of cognitive potentials within the human hippocampal system have identified N400 potentials in the anterior mesial temporal lobe (AMTL-N400) that correlate with verbal memory performance and are associated with novelty detection. Their amplitudes to "new" but not "old" words in a verbal recognition task correlate with the neuronal density of the hippocampal CA1-region and can be reduced selectively by the NMDA-receptor blocker ketamine. Moreover, it could be shown that NMDA-receptor dependent long-term potentiation (LTP), a form of synaptic plasticity with Hebbian characteristics, can be readily induced in human hippocampal slices but not in patients with hippocampal sclerosis. In these latter patients, we also found a reduction of AMTL-N400 amplitudes similar to the one induced by ketamine. In addition, we could show that hippocampal novelty detection is associated with successful encoding for declarative memory. Together, our findings suggest that successful encoding for declarative memory is at least in part mediated by NMDA-receptor dependent novelty detection within the human hippocampal system.

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