Single-cell recordings in the human medial temporal lobe.
Rey HG., Ison MJ., Pedreira C., Valentin A., Alarcon G., Selway R., Richardson MP., Quian Quiroga R.
Recordings from individual neurons in patients who are implanted with depth electrodes for clinical reasons have opened the possibility to narrow down the gap between neurophysiological studies in animals and non-invasive (e.g. functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalogram, magnetoencephalography) investigations in humans. Here we provide a description of the main procedures for electrode implantation and recordings, the experimental paradigms used and the main steps for processing the data. We also present key characteristics of the so-called 'concept cells', neurons in the human medial temporal lobe with selective and invariant responses that represent the meaning of the stimulus, and discuss their proposed role in declarative memory. Finally, we present novel results dealing with the stability of the representation given by these neurons, by studying the effect of stimulus repetition in the strength of the responses. In particular, we show that, after an initial decay, the response strength reaches an asymptotic value after approximately 15 presentations that remains above baseline for the whole duration of the experiment.