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Grid-like Processing of Imagined Navigation

Horner, AJ; Bisby, JA; Zotow, E; Bush, D; Burgess, N; (2016) Grid-like Processing of Imagined Navigation. Current Biology , 26 (6) pp. 842-847. 10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.042. Green open access

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Abstract

Grid cells in the entorhinal cortex (EC) of rodents [1] and humans [2] fire in a hexagonally distributed spatially periodic manner. In concert with other spatial cells in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) [3-6], they provide a representation of our location within an environment [7, 8] and are specifically thought to allow the represented location to be updated by self-motion [9]. Grid-like signals have been seen throughout the autobiographical memory system [10], suggesting a much more general role in memory [11, 12]. Grid cells may allow us to move our viewpoint in imagination [13], a useful function for goal-directed navigation and planning [12, 14-16], and episodic future thinking more generally [17, 18]. We used fMRI to provide evidence for similar grid-like signals in human entorhinal cortex during both virtual navigation and imagined navigation of the same paths. We show that this signal is present in periods of active navigation and imagination, with a similar orientation in both and with the specifically 6-fold rotational symmetry characteristic of grid cell firing. We therefore provide the first evidence suggesting that grid cells are utilized during movement of viewpoint within imagery, potentially underpinning our more general ability to mentally traverse possible routes in the service of planning and episodic future thinking.

Type: Article
Title: Grid-like Processing of Imagined Navigation
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.042
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.042
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 The Authors This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). This document was posted here by permission of the publisher. At the time of the deposit, it included all changes made during peer review, copy editing, and publishing. The U. S. National Library of Medicine is responsible for all links within the document and for incorporating any publisher-supplied amendments or retractions issued subsequently. The published journal article, guaranteed to be such by Elsevier, is available for free, on ScienceDirect, at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.042
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 > Division of Psychiatry
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1479193
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