Human cortical-hippocampal dialogue in wake and slow-wave sleep

Anish Mitra, Abraham Z. Snyder, Carl D. Hacker, Mrinal Pahwa, Enzo Tagliazucchi, Helmut Laufs, Eric C. Leuthardt, Marcus E. Raichle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Declarative memory consolidation is hypothesized to require a twostage, reciprocal cortical-hippocampal dialogue. According to this model, higher frequency signals convey information from the cortex to hippocampus during wakefulness, but in the reverse direction during slow-wave sleep (SWS). Conversely, lower-frequency activity propagates from the information "receiver" to the "sender" to coordinate the timing of information transfer. Reversal of sender/ receiver roles across wake and SWS implies that higher- and lower-frequency signaling should reverse direction between the cortex and hippocampus. However, direct evidence of such a reversal has been lacking in humans. Here, we use human resting-state fMRI and electrocorticography to demonstrate that δ-band activity and infraslow activity propagate in opposite directions between the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Moreover, both δ activity and infraslow activity reverse propagation directions between the hippocampus and cerebral cortex across wake and SWS. These findings provide direct evidence for state-dependent reversals in human cortical-hippocampal communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E6868-E6876
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number44
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cortex
  • Dynamics
  • Hippocampus
  • Memory
  • Sleep


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