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Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive A Spin Glass Model of Path Integration in Rat Medial
 

Summary: Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive
A Spin Glass Model of Path Integration in Rat Medial
Entorhinal Cortex
Mark C. Fuhs and David S. Touretzky
Computer Science Department and Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
Electrophysiological recording studies in the dorsocaudal region of medial entorhinal cortex (dMEC) of the rat reveal cells whose spatial
firing fields show a remarkably regular hexagonal grid pattern (Fyhn et al., 2004; Hafting et al., 2005). We describe a symmetric, locally
connected neural network, or spin glass model, that spontaneously produces a hexagonal grid of activity bumps on a two-dimensional
sheetofunits.ThespatialfiringfieldsofthesimulatedcellscloselyresemblethoseofdMECcells.Acollectionofgridswithdifferentscales
and/ororientationsformsabasissetforencodingposition.Simulationsshowthattheanimal'slocationcaneasilybedeterminedfromthe
population activity pattern. Introducing an asymmetry in the model allows the activity bumps to be shifted in any direction, at a rate
proportional to velocity, to achieve path integration. Furthermore, information about the structure of the environment can be superim-
posed on the spatial position signal by modulation of the bump activity levels without significantly interfering with the hexagonal
periodicityoffiringfields.OurresultssupporttheconjectureofHaftingetal.(2005)thatanattractornetworkindMECmaybethesource
of path integration information afferent to hippocampus.
Key words: hippocampus; head direction; path integration; entorhinal cortex; place cells; navigation
Introduction
The ability of rodents to navigate based on path integration (Mit-
telstaedt and Mittelstaedt, 1980; Etienne et al., 1986; Etienne,
1987; Alyan and McNaughton, 1999) and the persistence of hip-

  

Source: Andrzejak, Ralph Gregor - Departament de Tecnologia, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences