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Altered neural odometry in the vertical dimension

Casali, G; Bush, D; Jeffery, K; (2019) Altered neural odometry in the vertical dimension. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 10.1073/pnas.1811867116. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Entorhinal grid cells integrate sensory and self-motion inputs to provide a spatial metric of a characteristic scale. One function of this metric may be to help localize the firing fields of hippocampal place cells during formation and use of the hippocampal spatial representation (“cognitive map”). Of theoretical importance is the question of how this metric, and the resulting map, is configured in 3D space. We find here that when the body plane is vertical as rats climb a wall, grid cells produce stable, almost-circular grid-cell firing fields. This contrasts with previous findings when the body was aligned horizontally during vertical exploration, suggesting a role for the body plane in orienting the plane of the grid cell map. However, in the present experiment, the fields on the wall were fewer and larger, suggesting an altered or absent odometric (distance-measuring) process. Several physiological indices of running speed in the entorhinal cortex showed reduced gain, which may explain the enlarged grid pattern. Hippocampal place fields were found to be sparser but unchanged in size/shape. Together, these observations suggest that the orientation and scale of the grid cell map, at least on a surface, are determined by an interaction between egocentric information (the body plane) and allocentric information (the gravity axis). This may be mediated by the different sensory or locomotor information available on a vertical surface and means that the resulting map has different properties on a vertical plane than a horizontal plane (i.e., is anisotropic).

Type: Article
Title: Altered neural odometry in the vertical dimension
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1811867116
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1811867116
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, grid cells, place cells, three-dimensional space
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069160
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