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Place cells on a maze encode routes rather than destinations

Grieves, RM; Wood, ER; Dudchenko, PA; (2016) Place cells on a maze encode routes rather than destinations. eLife , 5 , Article e15986. 10.7554/eLife.15986. Green open access

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Abstract

Hippocampal place cells fire at different rates when a rodent runs through a given location on its way to different destinations. However, it is unclear whether such firing represents the animal’s intended destination or the execution of a specific trajectory. To distinguish between these possibilities, Lister Hooded rats (n = 8) were trained to navigate from a start box to three goal locations via four partially overlapping routes. Two of these led to the same goal location. Of the cells that fired on these two routes, 95.8% showed route-dependent firing (firing on only one route), whereas only two cells (4.2%) showed goal-dependent firing (firing similarly on both routes). In addition, route-dependent place cells over-represented the less discriminable routes, and place cells in general over-represented the start location. These results indicate that place cell firing on overlapping routes reflects the animal’s route, not its goals, and that this firing may aid spatial discrimination.

Type: Article
Title: Place cells on a maze encode routes rather than destinations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.15986
Publisher version: https://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15986
Language: English
Additional information: © Copyright Grieves et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Hippocampus, place cells, spatial memory, trajectory encoding citation
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
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1504924
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