Irregular distribution of grid cell firing fields in rats exploring a 3D volumetric space

Grieves, R. M., Jedidi-Ayoub, S., Mishchanchuk, K., Liu, A., Renaudineau, S., Duvelle, É. and Jeffery, K. J. (2021) Irregular distribution of grid cell firing fields in rats exploring a 3D volumetric space. Nature Neuroscience, 24(11), pp. 1567-1573. (doi: 10.1038/s41593-021-00907-4) (PMID:34381241) (PMCID:PMC8553607)

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Abstract

We investigated how entorhinal grid cells encode volumetric space. On a horizontal surface, grid cells usually produce multiple, spatially focal, approximately circular firing fields that are evenly sized and spaced to form a regular, close-packed, hexagonal array. This spatial regularity has been suggested to underlie navigational computations. In three dimensions, theoretically the equivalent firing pattern would be a regular, hexagonal close packing of evenly sized spherical fields. In the present study, we report that, in rats foraging in a cubic lattice, grid cells maintained normal temporal firing characteristics and produced spatially stable firing fields. However, although most grid fields were ellipsoid, they were sparser, larger, more variably sized and irregularly arranged, even when only fields abutting the lower surface (equivalent to the floor) were considered. Thus, grid self-organization is shaped by the environment’s structure and/or movement affordances, and grids may not need to be regular to support spatial computations.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by grants from Wellcome (grant nos. 103896AIA to K.J., 208647/Z/17/Z to S.J-A. and 213295/Z/18/Z to A.L.)
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jeffery, Dr Kate
Authors: Grieves, R. M., Jedidi-Ayoub, S., Mishchanchuk, K., Liu, A., Renaudineau, S., Duvelle, É., and Jeffery, K. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Nature Neuroscience
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN:1097-6256
ISSN (Online):1546-1726
Published Online:11 August 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Neuroscience 24(11): 1567-1573
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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