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A non-spatial account of place and grid cells based on clustering models of concept learning

Mok, RM; Love, BC; (2019) A non-spatial account of place and grid cells based on clustering models of concept learning. Nature Communications , 10 (1) , Article 5685. 10.1038/s41467-019-13760-8. Green open access

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Abstract

One view is that conceptual knowledge is organized using the circuitry in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) that supports spatial processing and navigation. In contrast, we find that a domain-general learning algorithm explains key findings in both spatial and conceptual domains. When the clustering model is applied to spatial navigation tasks, so-called place and grid cell-like representations emerge because of the relatively uniform distribution of possible inputs in these tasks. The same mechanism applied to conceptual tasks, where the overall space can be higher-dimensional and sampling sparser, leading to representations more aligned with human conceptual knowledge. Although the types of memory supported by the MTL are superficially dissimilar, the information processing steps appear shared. Our account suggests that the MTL uses a general-purpose algorithm to learn and organize context-relevant information in a useful format, rather than relying on navigation-specific neural circuitry.

Type: Article
Title: A non-spatial account of place and grid cells based on clustering models of concept learning
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-13760-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13760-8
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
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/10088313
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