Selectivity of pyramidal cells and interneurons in the human medial temporal lobe

Matias J. Ison, Florian Mormann, Moran Cerf, Christof Koch, Itzhak Fried, Rodrigo Quian Quiroga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Neurons in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) respond selectively to pictures of specific individuals, objects, and places. However, the underlying mechanisms leading to such degree of stimulus selectivity are largely unknown. A necessary step to move forward in this direction involves the identification and characterization of the different neuron types present in MTL circuitry. We show that putative principal cells recorded in vivo from the human MTL are more selective than putative interneurons. Furthermore, we report that putative hippocampal pyramidal cells exhibit the highest degree of selectivity within the MTL, reflecting the hierarchical processing of visual information. We interpret these differences in selectivity as a plausible mechanism for generating sparse responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1713-1721
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Epilepsy
  • Hierarchical processing
  • Hippocampus
  • Memory formation
  • Sparse coding
  • Winner-take-all

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

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