The Knierim lab demonstrates that new spatial firing fields (place fields) in the hippocampus can be created almost instantaneously when a rat pauses to investigate its environment. This finding may lend physiological support to current ideas about the role of the hippocampus as serving as a memory index that rapidly stores information about attended experience onto the rat’s mental map of its environment.
Monaco JD, Rao G, Roth ED, Knierim JJ. Attentive scanning behavior drives one-trial potentiation of hippocampal place fields. Nat Neurosci. 2014 Mar 30. doi: 10.1038/nn.3687. [Epub ahead of print]