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Nature. 2013 May 2;497(7447):74-9. doi: 10.1038/nature12112. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Hippocampal place-cell sequences depict future paths to remembered goals.

Author information

1
Solomon H Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

Abstract

Effective navigation requires planning extended routes to remembered goal locations. Hippocampal place cells have been proposed to have a role in navigational planning, but direct evidence has been lacking. Here we show that before goal-directed navigation in an open arena, the rat hippocampus generates brief sequences encoding spatial trajectories strongly biased to progress from the subject's current location to a known goal location. These sequences predict immediate future behaviour, even in cases in which the specific combination of start and goal locations is novel. These results indicate that hippocampal sequence events characterized previously in linearly constrained environments as 'replay' are also capable of supporting a goal-directed, trajectory-finding mechanism, which identifies important places and relevant behavioural paths, at specific times when memory retrieval is required, and in a manner that could be used to control subsequent navigational behaviour.

PMID:
23594744
PMCID:
PMC3990408
DOI:
10.1038/nature12112
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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