UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

A dual-axis rotation rule for updating the head direction cell reference frame during movement in three dimensions

Page, HJI; Wilson, JJ; Jeffery, KJ; (2018) A dual-axis rotation rule for updating the head direction cell reference frame during movement in three dimensions. Journal of Neurophysiology , 119 (1) pp. 192-208. 10.1152/jn.00501.2017. Green open access

[thumbnail of Page_Dual-axis_rotation_rule.pdf]
Preview
Text
Page_Dual-axis_rotation_rule.pdf - Published version

Download (3MB) | Preview

Abstract

In the mammalian brain, allocentric (Earth-referenced) head direction, called azimuth, is encoded by head direction (HD) cells, which fire according to the facing direction of the animal's head. On a horizontal surface, rotations of the head around the dorso-ventral (D-V) axis, called yaw, correspond to changes in azimuth, and elicit appropriate updating of the HD 'compass' signal to enable large-scale navigation. However, if the animal moves through three-dimensional (3D) space then there is no longer a simple relationship between yaw rotations and azimuth changes, and so processing of three-dimensional rotations is needed. Construction of a global 3D compass would require complex integration of 3D rotations, and also a large neuronal population, most neurons of which would be silent most of the time since animals rarely sample all available 3D orientations. We propose that instead, the HD system treats the 3D space as a set of interrelated 2D surfaces. It could do this by updating activity according to both yaw rotations around the D-V axis and rotations of the D-V axis around the gravity-defined vertical axis. We present preliminary data to suggest that this rule operates when rats move between walls of opposing orientations. This dual-axis rule, which we show is straightforward to implement using the classic one-dimensional 'attractor' architecture, allows consistent representation of azimuth even in volumetric space, and thus may be a general feature of mammalian directional computations even for animals that swim or fly.

Type: Article
Title: A dual-axis rotation rule for updating the head direction cell reference frame during movement in three dimensions
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1152/jn.00501.2017
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00501.2017
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 the American Physiological Society. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY 4.0 licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en_US).
Keywords: 3D space, head direction cells, navigation, path integration, spatial cognition
UCL classification: UCL
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10027041
Downloads since deposit
51Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item