Mapping of non-spatial dimensions by the hippocampal-entorhinal circuit


April 10, 2018 - 12:00pm
Northwest Building, Room B103
About the Speaker
Dmitriy Aronov
Speaker Title: 
Assistant Professor
Speaker Affiliation: 
Columbia University Medical Center

The hippocampal/entorhinal circuit is critical for a variety of memory-guided behavioral tasks. Yet, the investigation of these brain areas in rodents has primarily focused on neurons like place cells and grid cells, whose activity patterns are correlated to the animal’s location during spatial navigation. One idea for reconciling these two views of the hippocampal circuit is that spatial representation is just one example of a more general mechanism for encoding task-relevant variables. I will discuss experiments in which we tested this idea by training rats to manipulate a non-spatial variable (sound frequency). Neurons, including place cells and grid cells, formed a representation of sound frequency and other behaviorally relevant variables in this task, suggesting a general role of these cells beyond spatial navigation. At the end of my talk, I will discuss our latest effort to link memory function with hippocampal electrophysiology by studying the natural food-caching behavior of black-capped chickadees.