Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hippocampus, theta waves and movement VI

Throughout the 70's a lot of research was done that tried to show a relation between hippocampal activity and memory. Vanderwolf says,
"Much of this we simply ignored, hoping that such research would die out as more and more people became aware of the relation between hippocampal activity and motor activity."
A paper was published in Science suggesting that hippocampal slow waves were transmitted to the neocortex during the formation of a memory trace. Vanderwolf writes:
"We knew that the neocortex generates large amplitude rhythmical 7-9 Hz waves of its own" independent of the hippocampus, which "unlike the hippocampal waves, are driven by inputs from the thalamus and occur spontaneously at times during waking immobility...by repeating the experiments and collecting additional data Peter and I were able to show that the results reported in the Science paper were due to a)failure to distinguish two very different waveforms which happen to overlap in frequency, b) failure to take account of the relation between cerebral activity and motor activity."
They published their results in 1982. Similarly, Vanderwolf and a colleague deconstructed a paper which proposed a link between hippocampal waves and sniffing behavior, and published their own findings in 1992. They noted that furthermore, hippocampal wave activity was not associated with alert immobility, mating behavior, giving birth, or fighting. Rather, it was found during walking or running, or during the carrying of pups - any time locomotion occurred.

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