How environmental movement constraints shape the neural code for space

Jeffery, K. J. (2021) How environmental movement constraints shape the neural code for space. Cognitive Processing, 22(suppl1), pp. 97-104. (doi: 10.1007/s10339-021-01045-2) (PMID:34351539) (PMCID:PMC8423650)

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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.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The work was supported by a Wellcome grant WT103896AIA.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jeffery, Professor Kate
Authors: Jeffery, K. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Cognitive Processing
ISSN (Online):1612-4790
Published Online:05 August 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Author
First Published:First published in Cognitive Processing 22(suppl 1): 97-104
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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