The ability to create and access memories is critical for an organism’s ability to respond to a rapidly changing environment in an adaptive manner. While complex, memory formation can be divided into two major subfunctions: encoding and consolidation. At the local level, encoding induces changes in synaptic strength, either via long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTP). Consolidation then leads to the remodeling of the synapses and redistribution of information across more widespread neuronal networks for long-term storage.
Epilepsy surgical patients frequently have surface recordings from the hippocampus, frontal, and temporal lobes—structures known to play important roles in memory formation. We are seeking to describe what happens on the local and network level during tasks of encoding (i.e. working memory) and memory consolidation.