Synaptic Plasticity and Place Cell Formation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Place cells of the hippocampus are a prime model system for studying neural plasticity of cognitive representations. These cells fire specifically when a rat occupies a particular location in the environment. Neural plasticity is not necessary for these cells to display their spatial specificity. However, plasticity plays a fundamental role in organizing these place cells into adaptive and stable representations. Thus, rats with deficits in neural plasticity have place fields that tend to be unstable between visits to the same environment. Conversely, place fields in these rats tend to remain inappropriately stable and unable to represent new information when the environment is altered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Neuroscience
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780080450469
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Associative memory
  • Hippocampus
  • LTP
  • Learning
  • Long-term potentiation
  • NMDA receptor
  • Place cell
  • Place field
  • Spatial learning
  • Spatial orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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