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Phase-tuned neuronal firing encodes human contextual representations for navigational goals

  1. Andrew J Watrous  Is a corresponding author
  2. Jonathan Miller
  3. Salman E Qasim
  4. Itzhak Fried
  5. Joshua Jacobs
  1. Columbia University, United States
  2. University of California, Los Angeles, United States
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e32554 doi: 10.7554/eLife.32554

Abstract

We previously demonstrated that the phase of oscillations modulates neural activity representing categorical information using human intracranial recordings and high-frequency activity from local field potentials (Watrous et al., 2015b). We extend these findings here using human single-neuron recordings during a navigation task. We identify neurons in the medial temporal lobe with firing-rate modulations for specific navigational goals, as well as for navigational planning and goal arrival. Going beyond this work, using a novel oscillation detection algorithm, we identify phase-locked neural firing that encodes information about a person's prospective navigational goal in the absence of firing rate changes. These results provide evidence for navigational planning and contextual accounts of human MTL function at the single-neuron level. More generally, our findings identify phase-coded neuronal firing as a component of the human neural code.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Andrew J Watrous

    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, United States
    For correspondence
    andrew.j.watrous@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-3107-3726
  2. Jonathan Miller

    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Salman E Qasim

    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Itzhak Fried

    Department of Neurosurgery, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-5962-2678
  5. Joshua Jacobs

    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS033221)

  • Itzhak Fried

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS084017)

  • Itzhak Fried

National Institute of Mental Health (MH104606)

  • Joshua Jacobs

National Science Foundation (DGE 16-44869)

  • Salman E Qasim

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Human subjects: The Medical Institutional Review Board at the University of California-Los Angeles approved this study (IRB#10-000973) involving recordings from patients with drug-resistant epilepsy who provided informed consent to participate in research.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Timothy E Behrens, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: October 12, 2017
  2. Accepted: June 21, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: June 22, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: July 11, 2018 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2018, Watrous 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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