From A to Z: a potential role for grid cells in spatial navigation

Caswell Barry, Daniel Bush
Neural Systems & Circuits 2012 May 30, 2 (1): 6
Since their discovery, the strikingly regular and spatially stable firing of entorhinal grid cells has attracted the attention of experimentalists and theoreticians alike. The bulk of this work has focused either on the assumption that the principal role of grid cells is to support path integration or the extent to which their multiple firing locations can drive the sparse activity of hippocampal place cells. Here, we propose that grid cells are best understood as part of a network that combines self-motion and environmental cues to accurately track an animal's location in space. Furthermore, that grid cells - more so than place cells - efficiently encode self-location in allocentric coordinates. Finally, that the regular structure of grid firing fields represents information about the relative structure of space and, as such, may be used to guide goal directed navigation.

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