Slowing of the hippocampal θ rhythm correlates with anesthetic-induced amnesia.
Temporary, antegrade amnesia is one of the core desirable endpoints of general anesthesia. Multiple lines of evidence support a role for the hippocampal θ rhythm, a synchronized rhythmic oscillation of field potentials at 4-12 Hz, in memory formation. Previous studies have revealed a disruption of the θ rhythm at surgical levels of anesthesia. We hypothesized that θ-rhythm modulation would also occur at subhypnotic but amnestic concentrations. Therefore, we examined the effect of three inhaled agents on properties of the θ rhythm considered critical for the formation of hippocampus-dependent memories.
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