The firing pattern of entorhinal 'grid cells' is thought to provide an intrinsic metric for space. We report a strong experience-dependent environmental influence: the spatial scales of the grids (which are aligned and have fixed relative sizes within each animal) vary parametrically with changes to a familiar environment's size and shape. Thus grid scale reflects an interaction between intrinsic, path-integrative calculation of location and learned associations to the external environment.
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The authors thank C. Lever and J. O'Keefe for useful comments and D. Kellett and S. Burton for assistance with histology. This work was supported by UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Cresyl violet stained saggital sections section showing typical recording locations. (PDF 8696 kb)
Cells accepted into the analysis (see Supplementary Methods for acceptance criteria). (PDF 343 kb)
Grid firing rescales in response to geometric changes made to animals' enclosures – data from several rats. (PDF 1586 kb)
Orientation of grids in each rat. (PDF 350 kb)
Grid scale clustering within rats. (PDF 167 kb)
Grid rescaling is experience dependent and independent between contexts. (PDF 400 kb)
Mean normalized rescaling by rat for manipulated axes and unchanged axes. (PDF 56 kb)
Correlation (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient) between exposure (number of recording sessions) and rescaling for each rat. (PDF 63 kb)
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Barry, C., Hayman, R., Burgess, N. et al. Experience-dependent rescaling of entorhinal grids. Nat Neurosci 10, 682–684 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1905
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