Poulter, Steven and Lee, Sang Ah and Dachtler, James and Wills, Thomas J. and Lever, Colin (2021) 'Vector trace cells in the subiculum of the hippocampal formation.', Nature Neuroscience, 24 . pp. 266-275.
Successfully navigating in physical or semantic space requires a neural representation of allocentric (map-based) vectors to boundaries, objects and goals. Cognitive processes such as path-planning and imagination entail the recall of vector representations, but evidence of neuron-level memory for allocentric vectors has been lacking. Here, we describe a novel neuron type, vector trace cell (VTC), whose firing generates a new vector field when a cue is encountered and a ‘trace’ version of that field for hours after cue removal. VTCs are concentrated in subiculum, distal to CA1. Compared to non-trace cells, VTCs fire at further distances from cues and exhibit earlier-going shifts in preferred theta phase in response to newly introduced cues, which demonstrates a theta-linked neural substrate for memory encoding. VTCs suggest a vector-based model of computing spatial relationships between an agent and multiple spatial objects, or between different objects, freed from the constraints of direct perception of those objects.
|Full text:||(AM) Accepted Manuscript|
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|Publisher Web site:||https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-020-00761-w|
|Date accepted:||16 November 2020|
|Date deposited:||12 January 2021|
|Date of first online publication:||21 December 2020|
|Date first made open access:||21 June 2021|
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