Finite Scale of Spatial Representation in the Hippocampus

Science  04 Jul 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5885, pp. 140-143
DOI: 10.1126/science.1157086

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To determine how spatial scale is represented in the pyramidal cell population of the hippocampus, we recorded neural activity at multiple longitudinal levels of this brain area while rats ran back and forth on an 18-meter-long linear track. CA3 cells had well-defined place fields at all levels. The scale of representation increased almost linearly from <1 meter at the dorsal pole to ∼10 meters at the ventral pole. The results suggest that the place-cell map includes the entire hippocampus and that environments are represented in the hippocampus at a topographically graded but finite continuum of scales.

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