In the neocortex, extensive training results in enhanced neuronal selectivity for learned stimuli relative to novel stimuli. This enhanced selectivity has been taken as evidence for learning-related plasticity. Much less is known, in contrast, about the representation of well-learned information in the hippocampus. In this study, we examined the responses of individual hippocampal neurons to well-learned and novel stimuli presented in the context of an associative learning task. There was no difference in the response magnitude or visual response latency of hippocampal neurons to the well-learned and novel stimuli. In contrast, hippocampal neurons responded significantly more selectively to the well-learned stimuli relative to the novel stimuli. These findings show that hippocampal cells, like neocortical cells, show greater selectivity to well-learned stimuli compared to novel stimuli.
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