• Corpus ID: 107226436

Neural compass or epiphenomenon? Experimental and theoretical investigations into the rodent head direction cell system

  title={Neural compass or epiphenomenon? Experimental and theoretical investigations into the rodent head direction cell system},
  author={Matthijs A. A. van der Meer},
How does the brain convert sensory information into abstract representations that can support complex behaviours? The rodent head-direction (HD) system, whose cell ensembles represent head direction in the horizontal plane, is a striking example of a “cognitive” representation without a direct sensory correlate. It can be updated by sensory inputs from different modalities, yet persists in the absence of external input. Together with cells tuned for place, the HD system is thought to be… 
The Head Direction Cell System and Behavior: The Effects of Lesions to the Lateral Mammillary Bodies on Spatial Memory in a Novel Landmark Task and in the Water Maze
The results suggest that the LMN, and potentially the head direction cell system, are not essential for the use of visual landmarks to guide spatial behavior.
The head direction cell system and behavior
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Head direction cells and the neurophysiological basis for a sense of direction
  • J. Taube
  • Biology, Psychology
    Progress in Neurobiology
  • 1998
Dead Reckoning, Landmark Learning, and the Sense of Direction: A Neurophysiological and Computational Hypothesis
A hypothesis is proposed in which the integration process is replaced by a linear associative mapping, an operation that is at least theoretically easy to implement with neurons, and visual landmarks become incorporated into the directional system, enabling the correction of cumulative error and the computation of novel, optimal trajectories between locations.
Preferential use of the landmark navigational system by head direction cells in rats.
Results showed that when a salient, familiar cue was reintroduced to rat's environment into a position that conflicted with the cell's current firing direction, HD cells in both the ATN and the postsubiculum shifted their preferred direction to reflect their originally established orientation with this cue.
Processing the head direction cell signal: A review and commentary
Influence of conflicting visual, inertial and substratal cues on head direction cell activity
Results indicate that visual cues exerted a strong but incomplete control over the preferred directions of the neurons, while inertial cues had a small but significant influence, and substratal cues were of no consequence.
Angular Path Integration by Moving “Hill of Activity”: A Spiking Neuron Model without Recurrent Excitation of the Head-Direction System
An LMN-DTN network model that consists of three populations of noisy and spiking neurons coupled by biophysically realistic synapses is built and it is found that a combination of uniform external excitation and recurrent cross-inhibition can give rise to direction-selective persistent activity.
Deciphering the hippocampal polyglot: the hippocampus as a path integration system.
A hypothesis of how the path integration system may operate at the neuronal level is proposed, and it appears that viewpoint-specific visual information becomes secondarily bound to this structure by associative learning.
Head direction cells and episodic spatial information in rats without a hippocampus.
  • E. Golob, J. Taube
  • Biology, Psychology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1997
The results suggest that extra-hippocampal structures are capable of creating and maintaining a novel representation of the animal's environmental context that shares features in common with mnemonic processes involving episodic memory that until now were assumed to require an intact hippocampus.
Head Direction Cells in Rats with Hippocampal or Overlying Neocortical Lesions: Evidence for Impaired Angular Path Integration
The findings suggest that the hippocampus and the overlying neocortex are involved in path integration mechanisms, which enable an animal to maintain an accurate representation of its directional heading when exploring a novel environment.
Background, But Not Foreground, Spatial Cues Are Taken as References for Head Direction Responses by Rat Anterodorsal Thalamus Neurons
Results provide a possible neurophysiological basis for observations from psychophysical experiments in humans that background, rather than foreground, cues are preferentially used for spatial orientation.