The brain in motion: How ensemble fluidity drives memory-updating and flexibility

William Mau, Michael E Hasselmo, Denise J Cai
2020 eLife  
While memories are often thought of as flashbacks to a previous experience, they do not simply conserve veridical representations of the past but must continually integrate new information to ensure survival in dynamic environments. Therefore, 'drift' in neural firing patterns, typically construed as disruptive 'instability' or an undesirable consequence of noise, may actually be useful for updating memories. In our view, continual modifications in memory representations reconcile classical
more » ... ncile classical theories of stable memory traces with neural drift. Here we review how memory representations are updated through dynamic recruitment of neuronal ensembles on the basis of excitability and functional connectivity at the time of learning. Overall, we emphasize the importance of considering memories not as static entities, but instead as flexible network states that reactivate and evolve across time and experience.
doi:10.7554/elife.63550 pmid:33372892 fatcat:yenxcx2rxze5djb5ejmurxqhhu