This is a theory but the main question really is: how do we go using fMRI and similar technology to figure out if this is really what is going on ? Food for thought.

A compressed sensing perspective of hippocampal function by Panagiotis C. Petrantonakis and Panayiota Poirazi

Hippocampus is one of the most important information processing units in the brain. Input from the cortex passes through convergent axon pathways to the downstream hippocampal subregions and, after being appropriately processed, is fanned out back to the cortex. Here, we review evidence of the hypothesis that information flow and processing in the hippocampus complies with the principles of Compressed Sensing (CS). The CS theory comprises a mathematical framework that describes how and under which conditions, restricted sampling of information (data set) can lead to condensed, yet concise, forms of the initial, subsampled information entity (i.e., of the original data set). In this work, hippocampus related regions and their respective circuitry are presented as a CS-based system whose different components collaborate to realize efficient memory encoding and decoding processes. This proposition introduces a unifying mathematical framework for hippocampal function and opens new avenues for exploring coding and decoding strategies in the brain.

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