Grid Cells in 3-D: Reconciling Data and Models

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Abstract

It is well documented that place cells and grid cells in echolocating bats show properties similar to those described in rodents, and yet, continuous theta-frequency oscillations, proposed to play a central role in grid/place cell formation, are not present in bat recordings. These comparative neurophysiological data have raised many questions about the role of theta-frequency oscillations in spatial memory and navigation. Additionally, spatial navigation in three-dimensions poses new challenges for the representation of space in neural models. Inspired by the literature on space representation in the echolocating bat, we have developed a nonoscillatory model of 3-D grid cell creation that shares many of the features of existing oscillatory-interference models. We discuss the model in the context of current knowledge of 3-D space representation and highlight directions for future research. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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