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Trends Cogn Sci. 2006 Jan;10(1):1-3. Epub 2005 Nov 23.

A metric for the cognitive map: found at last?

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  • 1Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAP, UK. k.jeffery@ucl.ac.uk


A network of brain areas collectively represent location, but the underlying nature of this "cognitive map" has remained elusive. A recent study reports that the activity patterns of some entorhinal cortical neurons form a remarkably regular array of evenly spaced peaks across the surface of the environment. These "grid cells" might be the basis of a metric used for calculating position, and their discovery could greatly advance our understanding of how navigational computations are performed.

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