Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Biol. 2019 Apr 1;29(7):1226-1231.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.02.035. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

The Hippocampus Encodes Distances in Multidimensional Feature Space.

Author information

1
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, Radboud University and Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands; Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address: theves@cbs.mpg.de.
2
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, Radboud University and Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
3
Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Centre for Neural Computation, The Egil and Pauline Braathen and Fred Kavli Centre for Cortical Microcircuits, NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Electronic address: doeller@cbs.mpg.de.

Abstract

The hippocampal formation encodes maps of the physical environment [1-5]. A key question in neuroscience is whether its spatial coding principles also provide a universal metric for the organization of non-spatial information. Initial evidence comes from studies revealing directional modulation of fMRI responses in humans [6, 7] during navigation through abstract spaces and the involvement of place and grid cells in encoding of non-spatial feature dimensions [8]. However, a critical feature of a map-like representation is information about distances between locations, which has yet only been demonstrated for physical space [4, 9]. Here, we probe whether the hippocampus similarly encodes distances between points in an abstract space spanned by continuous stimulus-feature dimensions that were relevant to the acquisition of a novel concept. We find that, after learning, two-dimensional distances between individual positions in the abstract space were represented in the hippocampal multivoxel pattern as well as in the univariate hippocampal signal as indexed by fMRI adaptation. These results support the notion that the hippocampus computes domain-general, multidimensional cognitive maps along continuous dimensions.

KEYWORDS:

cognitive geometry; cognitive map; conceptual knowledge; spatial coding

PMID:
30905602
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2019.02.035

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center