Document Detail

Degradation of head direction cell activity during inverted locomotion.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15745969     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Head direction (HD) cells in the rat limbic system carry information about the direction the head is pointing in the horizontal plane. Most previous studies of HD functioning have used animals locomoting in an upright position or ascending/descending a vertical wall. In the present study, we recorded HD cell activity from the anterodorsal thalamic nucleus while the animal was locomoting in an upside-down orientation. Rats performed a shuttle-box task requiring them to climb a vertical wall and locomote across the ceiling of the apparatus while inverted to reach an adjoining wall before ascending into the reward compartment. The apparatus was oriented toward the preferred direction of the recorded cell, or the 180 degrees opposite direction. When the animal was traversing the vertical walls of the apparatus, the HD cells remained directionally tuned as if the walls were an extension of the floor. When the animal was locomoting inverted on the ceiling, however, cells showed a dramatic change in activity. Nearly one-half (47%) of the recorded cells exhibited no directional specificity during inverted locomotion, despite showing robust directional tuning on the walls before and after inversion. The remaining cells showed significantly degraded measures of directional tuning and random shifts of the preferred direction relative to the floor condition while the animal was inverted. It has previously been suggested that the HD system uses head angular velocity signals from the vestibular system to maintain a consistent representation of allocentric direction. These findings suggest that being in an inverted position causes a distortion of the vestibular signal controlling the HD system.
Jeffrey L Calton; Jeffrey S Taube
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience     Volume:  25     ISSN:  1529-2401     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  2005 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-03-04     Completed Date:  2006-03-31     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8102140     Medline TA:  J Neurosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2420-8     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Action Potentials / physiology
Anterior Thalamic Nuclei / cytology
Behavior, Animal
Head Movements / physiology*
Locomotion / physiology*
Motor Activity / physiology*
Neurons / physiology*
Rats, Long-Evans
Grant Support
C M Oman / MIT, Cambridge, MA

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