Place Cells

Nerve cells displaying extra large spaces

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Science  15 Aug 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6198, pp. 782
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6198.782-b

Rats use brain cells called “place” cells to figure out where they are. Rich et al. used mazes or tracks many meters long—the size of rats' ranges in the wild—to investigate how rats represent a very large environment or extended experience in their brain. As novel environments became larger and larger, the rats' brains recruited new place cells. However, no matter how large the environment became, some cells always remained silent, perhaps as a reserve for other environments yet to be visited.

Science, this issue p. 814

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