Kavli Affiliate: Eric Halgren
| Authors: Charles W Dickey, Ilya A Verzhbinsky, Xi Jiang, Burke Q Rosen, Sophie Kajfez, Emad N Eskandar, Jorge Gonzalez-Martinez, Sydney S Cash and Eric Halgren
Hippocampal ripples index the reconstruction of spatiotemporal neuronal firing patterns essential for the consolidation of memories in the cortex during non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM). Recently, cortical ripples in humans have been shown to enfold the replay of neuron firing patterns during cued recall. Here, using intracranial recordings from 18 patients (12 female), we show that cortical ripples also occur during NREM in humans, with similar density, oscillation frequency (~90 Hz), duration, and amplitude to waking. Ripples occurred in all cortical regions with similar characteristics, unrelated to putative hippocampal connectivity, and were less dense and robust in higher association areas. Putative pyramidal and interneuron spiking phase-locked to cortical ripples during NREM, with phase delays consistent with ripple generation through pyramidal-interneuron feedback. Cortical ripples were smaller in amplitude than hippocampal ripples, but were similar in density, frequency, and duration. Cortical ripples during NREM typically occurred just prior to the upstate peak, often during spindles. Upstates and spindles have previously been associated with memory consolidation, and we found that cortical ripples grouped co-firing between units within the window of spike-timing-dependent plasticity. Thus, human NREM cortical ripples are: ubiquitous and stereotyped with a tightly focused oscillation frequency; similar to hippocampal ripples; associated with upstates and spindles; and associated with unit co-firing. These properties are consistent with cortical ripples possibly contributing to memory consolidation and other functions during NREM in humans.