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Grid Cells Form a Global Representation of Connected Environments.

Carpenter, F; Manson, D; Jeffery, K; Burgess, N; Barry, C; (2015) Grid Cells Form a Global Representation of Connected Environments. Curr Biol , 25 (9) pp. 1176-1182. 10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.037. Green open access

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Abstract

The firing patterns of grid cells in medial entorhinal cortex (mEC) and associated brain areas form triangular arrays that tessellate the environment [1, 2] and maintain constant spatial offsets to each other between environments [3, 4]. These cells are thought to provide an efficient metric for navigation in large-scale space [5-8]. However, an accurate and universal metric requires grid cell firing patterns to uniformly cover the space to be navigated, in contrast to recent demonstrations that environmental features such as boundaries can distort [9-11] and fragment [12] grid patterns. To establish whether grid firing is determined by local environmental cues, or provides a coherent global representation, we recorded mEC grid cells in rats foraging in an environment containing two perceptually identical compartments connected via a corridor. During initial exposures to the multicompartment environment, grid firing patterns were dominated by local environmental cues, replicating between the two compartments. However, with prolonged experience, grid cell firing patterns formed a single, continuous representation that spanned both compartments. Thus, we provide the first evidence that in a complex environment, grid cell firing can form the coherent global pattern necessary for them to act as a metric capable of supporting large-scale spatial navigation.

Type: Article
Title: Grid Cells Form a Global Representation of Connected Environments.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.037
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.037
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
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 > 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
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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1467837
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