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      Path integration and the neural basis of the 'cognitive map'.

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          Abstract

          The hippocampal formation can encode relative spatial location, without reference to external cues, by the integration of linear and angular self-motion (path integration). Theoretical studies, in conjunction with recent empirical discoveries, suggest that the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) might perform some of the essential underlying computations by means of a unique, periodic synaptic matrix that could be self-organized in early development through a simple, symmetry-breaking operation. The scale at which space is represented increases systematically along the dorsoventral axis in both the hippocampus and the MEC, apparently because of systematic variation in the gain of a movement-speed signal. Convergence of spatially periodic input at multiple scales, from so-called grid cells in the entorhinal cortex, might result in non-periodic spatial firing patterns (place fields) in the hippocampus.

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          Most cited references 100

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          Microstructure of a spatial map in the entorhinal cortex.

          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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            Theta oscillations in the hippocampus.

            Theta oscillations represent the "on-line" state of the hippocampus. The extracellular currents underlying theta waves are generated mainly by the entorhinal input, CA3 (Schaffer) collaterals, and voltage-dependent Ca(2+) currents in pyramidal cell dendrites. The rhythm is believed to be critical for temporal coding/decoding of active neuronal ensembles and the modification of synaptic weights. Nevertheless, numerous critical issues regarding both the generation of theta oscillations and their functional significance remain challenges for future research.
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              A theory of cerebellar cortex.

               D. W. M. Marr (1969)
              1. A detailed theory of cerebellar cortex is proposed whose consequence is that the cerebellum learns to perform motor skills. Two forms of input-output relation are described, both consistent with the cortical theory. One is suitable for learning movements (actions), and the other for learning to maintain posture and balance (maintenance reflexes).2. It is known that the cells of the inferior olive and the cerebellar Purkinje cells have a special one-to-one relationship induced by the climbing fibre input. For learning actions, it is assumed that:(a) each olivary cell responds to a cerebral instruction for an elemental movement. Any action has a defining representation in terms of elemental movements, and this representation has a neural expression as a sequence of firing patterns in the inferior olive; and(b) in the correct state of the nervous system, a Purkinje cell can initiate the elemental movement to which its corresponding olivary cell responds.3. Whenever an olivary cell fires, it sends an impulse (via the climbing fibre input) to its corresponding Purkinje cell. This Purkinje cell is also exposed (via the mossy fibre input) to information about the context in which its olivary cell fired; and it is shown how, during rehearsal of an action, each Purkinje cell can learn to recognize such contexts. Later, when the action has been learnt, occurrence of the context alone is enough to fire the Purkinje cell, which then causes the next elemental movement. The action thus progresses as it did during rehearsal.4. It is shown that an interpretation of cerebellar cortex as a structure which allows each Purkinje cell to learn a number of contexts is consistent both with the distributions of the various types of cell, and with their known excitatory or inhibitory natures. It is demonstrated that the mossy fibre-granule cell arrangement provides the required pattern discrimination capability.5. The following predictions are made.(a) The synapses from parallel fibres to Purkinje cells are facilitated by the conjunction of presynaptic and climbing fibre (or post-synaptic) activity.(b) No other cerebellar synapses are modifiable.(c) Golgi cells are driven by the greater of the inputs from their upper and lower dendritic fields.6. For learning maintenance reflexes, 2(a) and 2(b) are replaced by2'. Each olivary cell is stimulated by one or more receptors, all of whose activities are usually reduced by the results of stimulating the corresponding Purkinje cell.7. It is shown that if (2') is satisfied, the circuit receptor --> olivary cell --> Purkinje cell --> effector may be regarded as a stabilizing reflex circuit which is activated by learned mossy fibre inputs. This type of reflex has been called a learned conditional reflex, and it is shown how such reflexes can solve problems of maintaining posture and balance.8. 5(a), and either (2) or (2') are essential to the theory: 5(b) and 5(c) are not absolutely essential, and parts of the theory could survive the disproof of either.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nat. Rev. Neurosci.
                Nature reviews. Neuroscience
                Springer Nature
                1471-003X
                1471-003X
                Aug 2006
                : 7
                : 8
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Arizona Research Laboratories Division of Neural Systems, Memory & Aging, and Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson 85724, USA. bruce@nsma.arizona.edu
                Article
                nrn1932
                10.1038/nrn1932
                16858394

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