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Non-rhythmic head-direction cells in the parahippocampal region are not constrained by attractor network dynamics

  1. Olga Kornienko
  2. Patrick Latuske
  3. Mathis Bassler
  4. Laura Kohler
  5. Kevin Allen  Is a corresponding author
  1. Heidelberg University, Germany
Research Article
  • Cited 2
  • Views 1,172
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e35949 doi: 10.7554/eLife.35949

Abstract

Computational models postulate that head-direction (HD) cells are part of an attractor network integrating head turns. This network requires inputs from visual landmarks to anchor the HD signal to the external world. We investigated whether information about HD and visual landmarks is integrated in the medial entorhinal cortex and parasubiculum, resulting in neurons expressing a conjunctive code for HD and visual landmarks. We found that parahippocampal HD cells could be divided into two classes based on their theta-rhythmic activity: non-rhythmic and theta-rhythmic HD cells. Manipulations of the visual landmarks caused tuning curve alterations in most HD cells, with the largest visually driven changes observed in non-rhythmic HD cells. Importantly, the tuning modifications of non-rhythmic HD cells were often non-coherent across cells, refuting the notion that attractor-like dynamics control non-rhythmic HD cells. These findings reveal a new population of non-rhythmic HD cells whose malleable organization is controlled by visual landmarks.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Olga Kornienko

    Department of Clinical Neurobiology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Patrick Latuske

    Department of Clinical Neurobiology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Mathis Bassler

    Department of Clinical Neurobiology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Laura Kohler

    Department of Clinical Neurobiology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Kevin Allen

    Department of Clinical Neurobiology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    For correspondence
    allen@uni-heidelberg.de
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-5319-3721

Funding

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (AL 1730/1-1)

  • Kevin Allen

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB1134)

  • Kevin Allen

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

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All experiments were carried out in accordance with the European Committees Directive (86/609/EEC) and were approved by the Governmental Supervisory Panel on Animal Experiments of Baden Wurttemberg in Karlsruhe (35-9185.81/G-50/14).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Neil Burgess, University College London, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: February 14, 2018
  2. Accepted: August 24, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 17, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Accepted Manuscript updated: September 19, 2018 (version 2)
  5. Version of Record published: September 26, 2018 (version 3)
  6. Version of Record updated: October 2, 2018 (version 4)

Copyright

© 2018, Kornienko 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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