Document Detail

Variable place-cell coupling to a continuously viewed stimulus: evidence that the hippocampus acts as a perceptual system.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9368939     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A key feature of perception is that the interpretation of a single, continuously available stimulus can change from time to time. This aspect of perception is well illustrated by the use of ambiguous figures that can be seen in two different ways. When people view such a stimulus they almost universally describe what they are seeing as jumping between two states. If it is agreed that this perceptual phenomenon is causally linked to the activity of nerve cells, the state jumps would have to occur in conjunction with changes in neural activity somewhere in the nervous system. Our experiments suggest that hippocampal place cells are part of a perceptual system. We conducted variations of a 'cue-card rotation' experiment on rats in which the angular position of a prominent visual stimulus on the wall of cylinder is changed in the rat's presence. The three main results are that (i) place-cell firing fields remain stationary if the cue is rotated by 180 degrees, so the relation between the cue and the field is altered; (ii) firing fields rotate by 45 degrees when the cue is rotated by 45 degrees, so the relation between the field and the card is maintained; and (iii) if the cue is first rotated by 180 degrees and then rotated in a series of 45 degrees steps, the field winds up at a different angular position relative to the card when the card is back in its original position. Thus, place cells can fire in two different ways in response to a continuously viewed stimulus. We conclude that place cells reveal that the hippocampal mapping system also has properties expected of a perceptual system.
A Rotenberg; R U Muller
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences     Volume:  352     ISSN:  0962-8436     ISO Abbreviation:  Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  1997 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-12-29     Completed Date:  1997-12-29     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503623     Medline TA:  Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1505-13     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Department of Physiology, State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn 11203, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Hippocampus / cytology*,  physiology*
Visual Perception / physiology*
Grant Support

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