1. Neuroscience
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Differences in reward biased spatial representations in the lateral septum and hippocampus

  1. Hannah S Wirtshafter  Is a corresponding author
  2. Matthew A Wilson
  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e55252 doi: 10.7554/eLife.55252


The lateral septum (LS), which is innervated by the hippocampus, is known to represent spatial information. However, the details of place representation in the LS, and whether this place information is combined with reward signaling, remains unknown. We simultaneously recorded from rat CA1 and caudodorsal lateral septum in rat during a rewarded navigation task and compared spatial firing in the two areas. While LS place cells are less numerous than in hippocampus, they are similar to the hippocampus in field size and number of fields per cell, but with field shape and center distributions that are more skewed towards reward. Spike cross-correlations between the hippocampus and LS are greatest for cells that have reward-proximate place fields, suggesting a role for the LS in relaying task-relevant hippocampal spatial information to downstream areas, such as the VTA.

Data availability

Data has been deposited to Collaborative Research in ComputationalNeuroscience (CRNRS) under the accession code hc-29 (doi:10.6080/K0NG4NV8). Users must first create a free account (https://crcns.org/register) before they can download the datasets from the site.All analysis code is available at https://github.com/hsw28/data_analysis

The following data sets were generated

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Hannah S Wirtshafter

    Biological Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-4684-7074
  2. Matthew A Wilson

    Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.


U.S. Department of Defense (NDSEG Fellowship)

  • Hannah S Wirtshafter

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


Animal experimentation: All procedures were performed within MIT Committee on Animal Care and NIH guidelines under Wilson protocol 0417-037-20. All surgeries were done under isoflourine anesthesia (induction 4%, maintenance 1-2%) and every effort was made to minimize suffering.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Laura L Colgin, University of Texas at Austin, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: January 20, 2020
  2. Accepted: May 24, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: May 26, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: June 5, 2020 (version 2)


© 2020, Wirtshafter & Wilson

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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