Place cells of the rat hippocampus are a dominant model system for understanding the role of the hippocampus in learning and memory at the level of single-unit and neural ensemble responses. A complete understanding of the information processing and computations performed by the hippocampus requires detailed knowledge about the properties of the representations that are present in hippocampal afferents and efferents in order to decipher the transformations that occur to these representations in the hippocampal circuitry. Neural recordings in behaving rats have revealed a number of brain areas that contain place-related firing properties in the parahippocampal regions and in other brain regions that are thought to interact with the hippocampus in certain behavioral tasks. Although investigators have just begun to scratch the surface in terms of understanding these properties, differences in the precise nature of the spatial firing between the hippocampus and these other regions promise to reveal important clues regarding the exact role of the hippocampus in learning and memory and the nature of its interactions with other brain systems to support adaptive behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience