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The development of spatial behaviour and the hippocampal neural representation of space

Wills, TJ; Muessig, L; Cacucci, F; (2014) The development of spatial behaviour and the hippocampal neural representation of space. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci , 369 (1635) , Article 20130409. 10.1098/rstb.2013.0409. Green open access

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Abstract

The role of the hippocampal formation in spatial cognition is thought to be supported by distinct classes of neurons whose firing is tuned to an organism's position and orientation in space. In this article, we review recent research focused on how and when this neural representation of space emerges during development: each class of spatially tuned neurons appears at a different age, and matures at a different rate, but all the main spatial responses tested so far are present by three weeks of age in the rat. We also summarize the development of spatial behaviour in the rat, describing how active exploration of space emerges during the third week of life, the first evidence of learning in formal tests of hippocampus-dependent spatial cognition is observed in the fourth week, whereas fully adult-like spatial cognitive abilities require another few weeks to be achieved. We argue that the development of spatially tuned neurons needs to be considered within the context of the development of spatial behaviour in order to achieve an integrated understanding of the emergence of hippocampal function and spatial cognition.

Type: Article
Title: The development of spatial behaviour and the hippocampal neural representation of space
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0409
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2013.0409
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: development, grid cell, hippocampus, navigation, place cell, spatial, Animals, Cognition, Developmental Biology, Hippocampus, Neurons, Rats, Spatial Behavior
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 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 > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1411167
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