Flexibility of functional neuronal assemblies supports human memory

Gray Umbach, Ryan Tan, Joshua Jacobs, Brad E. Pfeiffer, Bradley Lega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Episodic memories, or consciously accessible memories of unique events, represent a key aspect of human cognition. Evidence from rodent models suggests that the neural representation of these complex memories requires cooperative firing of groups of neurons on short time scales, organized by gamma oscillations. These co-firing groups, termed “neuronal assemblies,” represent a fundamental neurophysiological unit supporting memory. Using microelectrode data from neurosurgical patients, we identify neuronal assemblies in the human MTL and show that they exhibit consistent organization in their firing pattern based on gamma phase information. We connect these properties to memory performance across recording sessions. Finally, we describe how human neuronal assemblies flexibly adjust over longer time scales. Our findings provide key evidence linking assemblies to human episodic memory for the first time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6162
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Flexibility of functional neuronal assemblies supports human memory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this