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Romani Lab / Publications
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2 Publications

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    12/17/15 | Neural Network Model of Memory Retrieval.
    Recanatesi S, Katkov M, Romani S, Tsodyks M
    Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. 2015 Dec 17;9:149. doi: 10.3389/fncom.2015.00149

    Human memory can store large amount of information. Nevertheless, recalling is often a challenging task. In a classical free recall paradigm, where participants are asked to repeat a briefly presented list of words, people make mistakes for lists as short as 5 words. We present a model for memory retrieval based on a Hopfield neural network where transition between items are determined by similarities in their long-term memory representations. Meanfield analysis of the model reveals stable states of the network corresponding (1) to single memory representations and (2) intersection between memory representations. We show that oscillating feedback inhibition in the presence of noise induces transitions between these states triggering the retrieval of different memories. The network dynamics qualitatively predicts the distribution of time intervals required to recall new memory items observed in experiments. It shows that items having larger number of neurons in their representation are statistically easier to recall and reveals possible bottlenecks in our ability of retrieving memories. Overall, we propose a neural network model of information retrieval broadly compatible with experimental observations and is consistent with our recent graphical model (Romani et al., 2013).

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    02/01/15 | Theta sequences are essential for internally generated hippocampal firing fields.
    Wang Y, Romani S, Lustig B, Leonardo A, Pastalkova E
    Nature Neuroscience. 2015 Feb;18(2):282-8. doi: 10.1038/nn.3904

    Sensory cue inputs and memory-related internal brain activities govern the firing of hippocampal neurons, but which specific firing patterns are induced by either of the two processes remains unclear. We found that sensory cues guided the firing of neurons in rats on a timescale of seconds and supported the formation of spatial firing fields. Independently of the sensory inputs, the memory-related network activity coordinated the firing of neurons not only on a second-long timescale, but also on a millisecond-long timescale, and was dependent on medial septum inputs. We propose a network mechanism that might coordinate this internally generated firing. Overall, we suggest that two independent mechanisms support the formation of spatial firing fields in hippocampus, but only the internally organized system supports short-timescale sequential firing and episodic memory.

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