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The development of spatial and memory circuits in the rat

Tan, HM; Wills, TJ; Cacucci, F; (2017) The development of spatial and memory circuits in the rat. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science , 8 (3) , Article e1424. 10.1002/wcs.1424. Green open access

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Abstract

We provide a concise review of recent studies related to the development of neural circuits supporting spatial navigation and memory in the rat. We chart the relative timeline of the emergence of the four main classes of spatially tuned neurons within the hippocampus and related limbic areas: head direction cells emerge earliest (postnatal day 12, P12), before the eyes of the rats are even open, followed by place cells and boundary responsive cells; grid cells emerge last, around the age of weaning (P21). The rate of maturation is unique to each type of neuron, with the head direction and grid cells showing rapid developmental spurts, in contrast to place cells, which show a more gradual trend of maturation. Interestingly, the emergence of allocentric spatial abilities occurs only after the full complement of spatial neurons becomes functional at P20-21, whereas associative processing in the place cell network is evident from as early as P16. We also present evidence supporting the view that the sensory inputs, which are particularly salient to adult spatial networks, may not be essential for the immature spatial system. Crucially, visual information, although more salient than other sensory modalities for anchoring the adult head direction system, does not appear to be essential for setting up the immature head direction network. We conclude by highlighting an urgent need for new theoretical models that can account for the sequential emergence of spatial cells, as well as the lack of primacy of vision in the early organization of the head direction network. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

Type: Article
Title: The development of spatial and memory circuits in the rat
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/wcs.1424
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wcs.1424
Language: English
Additional information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Tan, H. M., Wills, T. J. and Cacucci, F. (2016), The development of spatial and memory circuits in the rat. WIREs Cogn Sci. doi:10.1002/wcs.1424, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wcs.1424. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
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/1532882
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