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      Microstructure of a spatial map in the entorhinal cortex.

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          Abstract

          The ability to find one's way depends on neural algorithms that integrate information about place, distance and direction, but the implementation of these operations in cortical microcircuits is poorly understood. Here we show that the dorsocaudal medial entorhinal cortex (dMEC) contains a directionally oriented, topographically organized neural map of the spatial environment. Its key unit is the 'grid cell', which is activated whenever the animal's position coincides with any vertex of a regular grid of equilateral triangles spanning the surface of the environment. Grids of neighbouring cells share a common orientation and spacing, but their vertex locations (their phases) differ. The spacing and size of individual fields increase from dorsal to ventral dMEC. The map is anchored to external landmarks, but persists in their absence, suggesting that grid cells may be part of a generalized, path-integration-based map of the spatial environment.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Nature
          Nature
          Springer Science and Business Media LLC
          1476-4687
          0028-0836
          Aug 11 2005
          : 436
          : 7052
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Centre for the Biology of Memory, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7489 Trondheim, Norway.
          Article
          nature03721
          10.1038/nature03721
          15965463
          97545adf-9431-4bd4-8150-9eadb22c02e3

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