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Entorhinal neurons exhibit cue locking in rodent VR

Casali, G; Shipley, S; Dowell, C; Hayman, R; Barry, C; (2019) Entorhinal neurons exhibit cue locking in rodent VR. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience , 12 , Article 512. 10.3389/fncel.2018.00512. Green open access

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Abstract

The regular firing pattern exhibited by medial entorhinal (mEC) grid cells of locomoting rodents is hypothesized to provide spatial metric information relevant for navigation. The development of virtual reality (VR) for head-fixed mice confers a number of experimental advantages and has become increasingly popular as a method for investigating spatiallyselective cells. Recent experiments using 1D VR linear tracks have shown that some mEC cells have multiple fields in virtual space, analogous to grid cells on real linear tracks. We recorded from the mEC as mice traversed virtual tracks featuring regularly spaced repetitive cues and identified a population of cells with multiple firing fields, resembling the regular firing of grid cells. However, further analyses indicated that many of these were not, in fact, grid cells because: (1) when recorded in the open field they did not display discrete firing fields with six-fold symmetry; and (2) in different VR environments their firing fields were found to match the spatial frequency of repetitive environmental cues. In contrast, cells identified as grid cells based on their open field firing patterns did not exhibit cue locking. In light of these results we highlight the importance of controlling the periodicity of the visual cues in VR and the necessity of identifying grid cells from real open field environments in order to correctly characterize spatially modulated neurons in VR experiments.

Type: Article
Title: Entorhinal neurons exhibit cue locking in rodent VR
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2018.00512
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2018.00512
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these term http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: grid cell, entorhinal cortex, path integration, spatial cognition, virtual navigation, virtual reality
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 > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10065721
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