Jennifer J Siegel

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One-month-old, inexperienced homing pigeons, prior to any opportunity to learn a navigational map, were subjected to either right or left unilateral ablation of the hippocampal formation (HF). These pigeons were then held together with a group of age-matched control birds in an outdoor aviary, where they were kept for about 3 months with the opportunity to(More)
We have addressed the source and nature of the persistent neural activity that bridges the stimulus-free gap between the conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US) during trace eyelid conditioning. Previous work has demonstrated that this persistent activity is necessary for trace eyelid conditioning: CS-elicited activity in mossy fiber(More)
The extraordinary navigational ability of homing pigeons provides a unique spatial cognitive system to investigate how the brain is able to represent past experiences as memory. In this paper, we first summarize a large body of lesion data in an attempt to characterize the role of the avian hippocampal formation (HF) in homing. What emerges from this(More)
The hippocampus (HF) of birds and mammals is essential for the map-like representation of environmental landmarks used for navigation. However, species with contrasting spatial behaviors and evolutionary histories are likely to display differences, or 'adaptive specializations', in HF organization reflective of those contrasts. In the search for HF(More)
Previous research has revealed that the functional components of spatial cognition are lateralized in the forebrain of birds, including the hippocampal formation (HF). To investigate how HF cells in the left and right avian brain may differentially participate in representations of space, we recorded single-units from the HF of homing pigeons as they ran a(More)
The importance of space-specific single-unit activity for hippocampal formation (HF)-mediated learning and memory in rodents has been extensively studied, yet little is known about how the unit findings in rodents generalize to other vertebrate species. We report a first assessment of the space-specific single-unit activity recorded from the HF of homing(More)
Brain organization and its relationship to behavior in any extant species is a reflection of a long evolutionary history of adaptive change. Therefore, it follows that the relationship between the hippocampus and spatial cognition in any species or taxonomic group would be characterized by features adapted to its spatial ecology. Birds are the animal(More)
The place-specific activity of hippocampal cells provides downstream structures with information regarding an animal's position within an environment and, perhaps, the location of goals within that environment. In rodents, recent research has suggested that distal cues primarily set the orientation of the spatial representation, whereas the boundaries of(More)
Persistent neural activity, responses that outlast the stimuli that evoke them, plays an important role in neural computations and possibly in processes, such as working memory. Recent studies suggest that trace eyelid conditioning, which involves a temporal gap between the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli (the trace interval), requires persistent(More)
Persistent spiking in response to a discrete stimulus is considered to reflect the active maintenance of a memory for that stimulus until a behavioral response is made. This response pattern has been reported in learning paradigms that impose a temporal gap between stimulus presentation and behavioral response, including trace eyeblink conditioning.(More)