Spatial selectivity of rat hippocampal neurons: dependence on preparedness for movement

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Science  30 Jun 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4912, pp. 1580-1582
DOI: 10.1126/science.2740902


The mammalian hippocampal formation appears to play a major role in the generation of internal representations of spatial relationships. In rats, this role is reflected in the spatially selective discharge of hippocampal pyramidal cells. The principal metric for coding spatial relationships might be the organism's own movements in space, that is, the spatial relationship between two locations is coded in terms of the movements executed in getting from one to the other. Thus, information from the motor programming systems (or "motor set") may contribute to coding of spatial location by hippocampal neurons. Spatially selective discharge of hippocampal neurons was abolished under conditions of restraint in which the animal had learned that locomotion was impossible. Therefore, hippocampal neuronal activity may reflect the association of movements with their spatial consequences.

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