Hippocampal place cells encode global location but not changes in environmental connectivity in a 4-room navigation task

Duvelle, É. et al. (2021) Hippocampal place cells encode global location but not changes in environmental connectivity in a 4-room navigation task. Current Biology, 31(6), 1221-1233.e9. (doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.01.005) (PMID:33581073) (PMCID:PMC7988036)

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Flexible navigation relies on a cognitive map of space, thought to be implemented by hippocampal place cells: neurons that exhibit location-specific firing. In connected environments, optimal navigation requires keeping track of one’s location and of the available connections between subspaces. We examined whether the dorsal CA1 place cells of rats encode environmental connectivity in four geometrically identical boxes arranged in a square. Rats moved between boxes by pushing saloon-type doors that could be locked in one or both directions. Although rats demonstrated knowledge of environmental connectivity, their place cells did not respond to connectivity changes, nor did they represent doorways differently from other locations. Place cells coded location in a global reference frame, with a different map for each box and minimal repetitive fields despite the repetitive geometry. These results suggest that CA1 place cells provide a spatial map that does not explicitly include connectivity.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by a grant to H.J.S., C.S., and G.P. from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation under the Specific Grant Agreements 785907 and 945539 (Human Brain Project SGA2 and SGA3), a grant to K.J.J. from the Wellcome Trust (WT103896AIA), and a grant to G.P. from the European Research Council (Grant Agreement 820213, ThinkAhead).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jeffery, Professor Kate
Creator Roles:
Jeffery, K. J.Writing – review and editing, Methodology, Resources, Funding acquisition
Authors: Duvelle, É., Grieves, R. M., Liu, A., Jedidi-Ayoub, S., Holeniewska, J., Harris, A., Nyberg, N., Donnarumma, F., Lefort, J. M., Jeffery, K. J., Summerfield, C., Pezzulo, G., and Spiers, H. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Current Biology
Publisher:Elsevier (Cell Press)
ISSN (Online):1879-0445
Published Online:12 February 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Current Biology 31(6): 1221-1233.e9
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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