1. Neuroscience
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Place cells on a maze encode routes rather than destinations

  1. Roddy M Grieves
  2. Emma R Wood
  3. Paul A Dudchenko  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Stirling, United Kingdom
  2. University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Research Article
  • Cited 41
  • Views 4,012
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e15986 doi: 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.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Roddy M Grieves

    School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Emma R Wood

    Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Paul A Dudchenko

    School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, United Kingdom
    For correspondence
    p.a.dudchenko@stir.ac.uk
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: This experiment complied with the national [Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986, United 372 Kingdom] and international [European Communities Council Directive of November 24, 1986 (86/609/EEC)] legislation governing the maintenance of laboratory animals and their use in scientific experiments.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Howard Eichenbaum, Boston University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: March 11, 2016
  2. Accepted: June 9, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: June 10, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Accepted Manuscript updated: June 21, 2016 (version 2)
  5. Version of Record published: July 12, 2016 (version 3)
  6. Version of Record updated: November 19, 2020 (version 4)

Copyright

© 2016, Grieves et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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