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Mice identify subgoal locations through an action-driven mapping process

Shamash, Philip; Lee, Sebastian; Saxe, Andrew M; Branco, Tiago; (2023) Mice identify subgoal locations through an action-driven mapping process. Neuron 10.1016/j.neuron.2023.03.034. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Mammals form mental maps of the environments by exploring their surroundings. Here, we investigate which elements of exploration are important for this process. We studied mouse escape behavior, in which mice are known to memorize subgoal locations-obstacle edges-to execute efficient escape routes to shelter. To test the role of exploratory actions, we developed closed-loop neural-stimulation protocols for interrupting various actions while mice explored. We found that blocking running movements directed at obstacle edges prevented subgoal learning; however, blocking several control movements had no effect. Reinforcement learning simulations and analysis of spatial data show that artificial agents can match these results if they have a region-level spatial representation and explore with object-directed movements. We conclude that mice employ an action-driven process for integrating subgoals into a hierarchical cognitive map. These findings broaden our understanding of the cognitive toolkit that mammals use to acquire spatial knowledge.

Type: Article
Title: Mice identify subgoal locations through an action-driven mapping process
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2023.03.034
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2023.03.034
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: cognitive map, escape, obstacles, spatial learning, subgoals, threat
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 Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Gatsby Computational Neurosci Unit
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10169163
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