Although previous research into the mechanisms underlying sensory and episodic representations has primarily focused on changes in neural firing rate, more recent evidence suggests that neural oscillations also contribute to these representations. Here, we argue that multiplexed oscillatory power and phase contribute to neural representations at the mesoscopic scale, complementary to neuronal firing. Reviewing recent studies which used oscillatory activity to decipher content-specific neural representations, we identify oscillatory mechanisms common to both sensory and episodic memory representations and incorporate these into a model of episodic encoding and retrieval. This model advances the idea that oscillations provide a reference frame for phase-coded item representations during memory encoding and that shifts in oscillatory frequency and phase coordinate ensemble activity during memory retrieval.
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