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Grid cell firing patterns signal environmental novelty by expansion

Barry, C; Ginzberg, LL; O'Keefe, J; Burgess, N; (2012) Grid cell firing patterns signal environmental novelty by expansion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , 109 (43) 17687 - 17692. 10.1073/pnas.1209918109.

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Abstract

The hippocampal formation plays key roles in representing an animal's location and in detecting environmental novelty to create or update those representations. However, the mechanisms behind this latter function are unclear. Here, we show that environmental novelty causes the spatial firing patterns of grid cells to expand in scale and reduce in regularity, reverting to their familiar scale as the environment becomes familiar. Simultaneously recorded place cell firing fields remapped and showed a smaller, temporary expansion. Grid expansion provides a potential mechanism for novelty signaling and may enhance the formation of new hippocampal representations, whereas the subsequent slow reduction in scale provides a potential familiarity signal.

Type: Article
Title: Grid cell firing patterns signal environmental novelty by expansion
Location: United States
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1209918109
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1209918109
Language: English
Additional information: PMCID: PMC3491492
Keywords: Animals, Hippocampus, Humans, Male, Rats
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 > 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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1380713
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