PerspectiveNeuroscience

Our skewed sense of space

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Science  06 Feb 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6222, pp. 612-613
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa6505

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Summary

The hippocampus is the brain region where spatial maps of our surroundings are encoded. A specific location will activate a set of neurons called place cells to represent the particular place. What happens as the number of environments encountered increases? Does the hippocampus continually create and store distinct independent “maps” for each locale, or can place cells be recruited for more than one map to generalize across locales? It appears that both mechanisms contribute in unique ways.