Local generation and propagation of ripples along the septotemporal axis of the hippocampus

A topographical relationship exists between the septotemporal segments of the hippocampus and their entorhinal–neocortical targets, but the physiological organization of activity along the septotemporal axis is poorly understood.We recorded sharp-wave ripple patterns in rats during sleep from the entire septotemporal axis of the CA1 pyramidal layer. Qualitatively similar ripples emerged at all levels. From the local seed, ripples traveled septally or temporally at a speed of 0.35 m/s, and the spatial spread depended on ripple magnitude. Ripples propagated smoothly across the septal and intermediate segments of the hippocampus, but ripples in the temporal segment often remained isolated. These findings show that ripples can combine information from the septal and intermediate hippocampus and transfer integrated signals downstream. In contrast, ripples that emerged in the temporal pole broadcast largely independent information to their cortical and subcortical targets.