Time cells in the human hippocampus and entorhinal cortex support episodic memory

Gray Umbach, Pranish Kantak, Joshua Jacobs, Michael Kahana, Brad E. Pfeiffer, Michael Sperling, Bradley Lega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The organization of temporal information is critical for the encoding and retrieval of episodic memories. In the rodent hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, recent evidence suggests that temporal information is encoded by a population of “time cells.” We identify time cells in humans using intracranial microelectrode recordings obtained from 27 human epilepsy patients who performed an episodic memory task. We show that time cell activity predicts the temporal organization of episodic memories. A significant portion of these cells exhibits phase precession, a key phenomenon not previously seen in human recordings. These findings establish a cellular mechanism for the representation of temporal information in the human brain needed to form episodic memories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 4 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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