Hippocampal CA1 place cells encode intended destination on a maze with multiple choice points

James Alexander Ainge, Minija Tamosiunaite, Florentin Woergoetter, Paul A. Dudchenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The hippocampus encodes both spatial and nonspatial aspects of a rat's ongoing behavior at the single-cell level. In this study, we examined the encoding of intended destination by hippocampal ( CA1) place cells during performance of a serial reversal task on a double Y-maze. On the maze, rats had to make two choices to access one of four possible goal locations, two of which contained reward. Reward locations were kept constant within blocks of 10 trials but changed between blocks, and the session of each day comprised three or more trial blocks. A disproportionate number of place fields were observed in the start box and beginning stem of the maze, relative to other locations on the maze. Forty-six percent of these place fields had different firing rates on journeys to different goal boxes. Another group of cells had place fields before the second choice point, and, of these, 44% differentiated between journeys to specific goal boxes. In a second experiment, we observed that rats with hippocampal damage made significantly more errors than control rats on the Y-maze when reward locations were reversed. Together, these results suggest that, at the start of the maze, the hippocampus encodes both current location and the intended destination of the rat, and this encoding is necessary for the flexible response to changes in reinforcement contingencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9769-9779
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of Neuroscience
Volume27
Issue number36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2007

Keywords

  • hippocampus
  • place cell
  • spatial cognition
  • goals
  • memory
  • reversal learning
  • FREELY-MOVING RATS
  • EPISODIC MEMORY
  • PYRAMIDAL CELLS
  • NEURONS
  • TASK
  • INFORMATION
  • LOCATION
  • PLASTICITY
  • CONTEXT
  • LESIONS

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