Closed-loop control of gamma oscillations in the amygdala demonstrates their role in spatial memory consolidation

Vasiliki Kanta, Denis Pare, Drew B. Headley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Gamma is a ubiquitous brain rhythm hypothesized to support cognitive, perceptual, and mnemonic functions by coordinating neuronal interactions. While much correlational evidence supports this hypothesis, direct experimental tests have been lacking. Since gamma occurs as brief bursts of varying frequencies and durations, most existing approaches to manipulate gamma are either too slow, delivered irrespective of the rhythm’s presence, not spectrally specific, or unsuitable for bidirectional modulation. Here, we overcome these limitations with an approach that accurately detects and modulates endogenous gamma oscillations, using closed-loop signal processing and optogenetic stimulation. We first show that the rat basolateral amygdala (BLA) exhibits prominent gamma oscillations during the consolidation of contextual memories. We then boost or diminish gamma during consolidation, in turn enhancing or impairing subsequent memory strength. Overall, our study establishes the role of gamma oscillations in memory consolidation and introduces a versatile method for studying fast network rhythms in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3970
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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