Flexible modulation of sequence generation in the entorhinal-hippocampal system

TitleFlexible modulation of sequence generation in the entorhinal-hippocampal system
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsMcNamee, D, Stachenfeld, K, Botvinick, MM, Gershman, SJ
JournalNature Neuroscience
Date Published04/2021

Exploration, consolidation and planning depend on the generation of sequential state representations. However, these algorithms require disparate forms of sampling dynamics for optimal performance. We theorize how the brain should adapt internally generated sequences for particular cognitive functions and propose a neural mechanism by which this may be accomplished within the entorhinal–hippocampal circuit. Specifically, we demonstrate that the systematic modulation along the medial entorhinal cortex dorsoventral axis of grid population input into the hippocampus facilitates a flexible generative process that can interpolate between qualitatively distinct regimes of sequential hippocampal reactivations. By relating the emergent hippocampal activity patterns drawn from our model to empirical data, we explain and reconcile a diversity of recently observed, but apparently unrelated, phenomena such as generative cycling, diffusive hippocampal reactivations and jumping trajectory events.


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