Transient 23-30 Hz oscillations in mouse hippocampus during exploration of novel environments

Joshua D. Berke, Vaughn Hetrick, Jason Breck, Robert W. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The hippocampus is a key brain structure for the encoding of new experiences and environments. Hippocampal activity shows distinct oscillatory patterns, but the relationships between oscillations and memory are not well understood. Here we describe bursts of hippocampal ∼23-30 Hz (beta2) oscillations in mice exploring novel, but not familiar, environments. In marked contrast to the relatively invariant ∼8 Hz theta rhythm, beta2 power was weak during the very first lap of the novel environment, increased sharply as the mice reencountered their start point, then persisted for only a few minutes. Novelty-evoked oscillations reflected precise synchronization of individual neurons, and participating pyramidal cells showed a selective enhancement of spatial specificity. Through focal viral manipulations, we found that novelty-evoked oscillations required functional NMDA receptors in CA3, a subregion critical for fast oscillations in vitro. These findings suggest that beta2 oscillations indicate a hippocampal dynamic state that facilitates the formation of unique contextual representations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-529
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008


  • Interneurons
  • Mouse
  • NMDA receptor
  • Novelty
  • Oscillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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