Article: Maps in the mind
- Maps in the mind
We can find our way about, so somewhere in our brain there must be a neural equivalent of a three-dimensional map. Work on navigation in mammals points to the hippocampus as part of this 'spatial learning' system. Now an important advance shows that the entorhinal cortex, which inputs to the hippocampus, is the site where information about place, distance and direction is integrated into a neural map of the surroundings. Here a series of grid cells represents the space around the animal. Each grid cell is activated when an animal's position coincides with a vertex on a grid of equilateral triangles representing the environment. In answering so many questions about the perception of space, this raises the next question: how are these triangular-grid place fields constructed?
Summary and full text links at Nature
Robert Karl Stonjek
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