The primary objective of this work was to test whether rats could return to a home site using an internal sense of direction. In two experiments, rats were trained to retrieve a food reward from a central dish on a circular maze. The rats' task was to leave one of eight 'home' locations on the maze periphery, retrieve their food reward and return to the… (More)
Two recent studies have shown that neurons which fire in a compass-like way--head direction cells--are present before rat pups open their eyes. Upon eye opening, the firing direction of these cells is anchored rapidly to visual landmarks.
Animals require information about their location and directional heading in order to navigate. Directional information is provided by a population of cells in the postsubiculum and the anterior thalamic nuclei that encode a very accurate, continual representatton of the animal's directional heading in the horizontal plane, which is independent of the… (More)