Recoding a cocaine-place memory engram to a neutral engram in the hippocampus.
Trouche S., Perestenko PV., van de Ven GM., Bratley CT., McNamara CG., Campo-Urriza N., Black SL., Reijmers LG., Dupret D.
The hippocampus provides the brain's memory system with a subset of neurons holding a map-like representation of each environment experienced. We found in mice that optogenetic silencing those neurons active in an environment unmasked a subset of quiet neurons, enabling the emergence of an alternative map. When applied in a cocaine-paired environment, this intervention neutralized an otherwise long-lasting drug-place preference, showing that recoding a spatial memory engram can alleviate associated maladaptive behavior.