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Article

Place cells on a maze encode routes rather than destinations

Citation
Grieves RM, Wood ER & Dudchenko PA (2016) Place cells on a maze encode routes rather than destinations. eLife, 5, Art. No.: e15986. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15986

Abstract
Hippocampal place cells fire at different rates when a rodent runs through a given location on its way to different destinations. However, it is unclear whether such firing represents the animal's intended destination or the execution of a specific trajectory. To distinguish between these possibilities, Lister Hooded rats (n=8) were trained to navigate from a start box to three goal locations via four partially overlapping routes. Two of these led to the same goal location. Of the cells that fired on these two routes, 95.8% showed route-dependent firing (firing on only one route), whereas only two cells (4.2%) showed goal-dependent firing (firing similarly on both routes). In addition, route-dependent place cells over-represented the less discriminable routes, and place cells in general over-represented the start location. These results indicate that place cell firing on overlapping routes reflects the animal's route, not its goals, and that this firing may aid spatial discrimination.

Keywords
hippocampus; place cell; spatial memory; trajectory encoding

Journal
eLife: Volume 5

StatusPublished
Author(s)Grieves, Roddy M; Wood, Emma R; Dudchenko, Paul A
FundersBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Publication date31/12/2016
Publication date online30/06/2016
Date accepted by journal08/06/2016
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/23414
PublishereLife Sciences Publications
eISSN2050-084X
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