Representation of Geometric Borders in the Entorhinal Cortex

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Science  19 Dec 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5909, pp. 1865-1868
DOI: 10.1126/science.1166466


We report the existence of an entorhinal cell type that fires when an animal is close to the borders of the proximal environment. The orientation-specific edge-apposing activity of these “border cells” is maintained when the environment is stretched and during testing in enclosures of different size and shape in different rooms. Border cells are relatively sparse, making up less than 10% of the local cell population, but can be found in all layers of the medial entorhinal cortex as well as the adjacent parasubiculum, often intermingled with head-direction cells and grid cells. Border cells may be instrumental in planning trajectories and anchoring grid fields and place fields to a geometric reference frame.

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