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How environmental movement constraints shape the neural code for space

Jeffery, KJ; (2021) How environmental movement constraints shape the neural code for space. Cognitive Processing 10.1007/s10339-021-01045-2. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Study of the neural code for space in rodents has many insights to offer for how mammals, including humans, construct a mental representation of space. This code is centered on the hippocampal place cells, which are active in particular places in the environment. Place cells are informed by numerous other spatial cell types including grid cells, which provide a signal for distance and direction and are thought to help anchor the place cell signal. These neurons combine self-motion and environmental information to create and update their map-like representation. Study of their activity patterns in complex environments of varying structure has revealed that this "cognitive map" of space is not a fixed and rigid entity that permeates space, but rather is variably affected by the movement constraints of the environment. These findings are pointing toward a more flexible spatial code in which the map is adapted to the movement possibilities of the space. An as-yet-unanswered question is whether these different forms of representation have functional consequences, as suggested by an enactivist view of spatial cognition.

Type: Article
Title: How environmental movement constraints shape the neural code for space
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10339-021-01045-2
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10339-021-01045-2
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Spatial memory, Neural encoding, Place cells, Grid cells, Navigation, Affordance
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/10132655
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