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Cereb Cortex. 2015 Nov;25(11):4619-27. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhv120. Epub 2015 Jun 5.

Purely Translational Realignment in Grid Cell Firing Patterns Following Nonmetric Context Change.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental Psychology, University College London, London WC1H 0AP, UK.
2
Department of Experimental Psychology, University College London, London WC1H 0AP, UK Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
3
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.

Abstract

Grid cells in entorhinal and parahippocampal cortices contribute to a network, centered on the hippocampal place cell system, that constructs a representation of spatial context for use in navigation and memory. In doing so, they use metric cues such as the distance and direction of nearby boundaries to position and orient their firing field arrays (grids). The present study investigated whether they also use purely nonmetric "context" information such as color and odor of the environment. We found that, indeed, purely nonmetric cues--sufficiently salient to cause changes in place cell firing patterns--can regulate grid positioning; they do so independently of orientation, and thus interact with linear but not directional spatial inputs. Grid cells responded homogeneously to context changes. We suggest that the grid and place cell networks receive context information directly and also from each other; the information is used by place cells to compute the final decision of the spatial system about which context the animal is in, and by grid cells to help inform the system about where the animal is within it.

KEYWORDS:

context; grid cells; place cells; sensory integration; spatial learning

PMID:
26048956
PMCID:
PMC4816804
DOI:
10.1093/cercor/bhv120
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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