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The representation of space in the brain

Grieves, RM; Jeffery, KJ; (2017) The representation of space in the brain. Behavioural Processes , 135 pp. 113-131. 10.1016/j.beproc.2016.12.012. Green open access

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Abstract

Animals can navigate vast distances and often display behaviours or activities that indicate a detailed, internal spatial representation of their surrounding environment or a 'cognitive map'. Over a century of behavioural research on spatial navigation in humans and animals has greatly increased our understanding of how this highly complex feat is achieved. In turn this has inspired half a century of electrophysiological spatial navigation and memory research which has further advanced our understanding of the brain. In particular, three functional cell types have been suggested to underlie cognitive mapping processes; place cells, head direction cells and grid cells. However, there are numerous other spatially modulated neurons in the brain. For a more complete understanding of the electrophysiological systems and behavioural processes underlying spatial navigation we must also examine these lesser understood neurons. In this review we will briefly summarise the literature surrounding place cells, head direction cells, grid cells and the evidence that these cells collectively form the neural basis of a cognitive map. We will then review literature covering many other spatially modulated neurons in the brain that perhaps further augment this cognitive map.

Type: Article
Title: The representation of space in the brain
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2016.12.012
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2016.12.012
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016. This manuscript version is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This licence allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licences are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Grid cell, Head direction cell, Navigation, Place cell, Spatial cognition
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/1535831
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