On initial Brain Activity Mapping of episodic and semantic memory code in the hippocampus

Joseph Zhuo Tsien, Meng Li, Remus Osan, Guifen Chen, Longian Lin, Lei Wang, Sabine Martina Frey, Julietta Uta Frey, Dajiang Zhu, Tianming Liu, Fang Zhao, Hui Kuang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


It has been widely recognized that the understanding of the brain code would require large-scale recording and decoding of brain activity patterns. In 2007 with support from Georgia Research Alliance, we have launched the Brain Decoding Project Initiative with the basic idea which is now similarly advocated by BRAIN project or Brain Activity Map proposal. As the planning of the BRAIN project is currently underway, we share our insights and lessons from our efforts in mapping real-time episodic memory traces in the hippocampus of freely behaving mice. We show that appropriate large-scale statistical methods are essential to decipher and measure real-time memory traces and neural dynamics. We also provide an example of how the carefully designed, sometime thinking-outside-the-box, behavioral paradigms can be highly instrumental to the unraveling of memory-coding cell assembly organizing principle in the hippocampus. Our observations to date have led us to conclude that the specific-to-general categorical and combinatorial feature-coding cell assembly mechanism represents an emergent property for enabling the neural networks to generate and organize not only episodic memory, but also semantic knowledge and imagination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-210
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • BRAIN project
  • Brain Activity Map
  • Concepts
  • Delusion
  • Episodic memory
  • Fear conditioning
  • Imagination
  • Semantic knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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