A challenge in spatial memory is understanding how place cell firing contributes to decision-making in navigation. A spatial recency task was created in which freely moving rats first became familiar with a spatial context over several days and thereafter were required to encode and then selectively recall one of three specific locations within it that was chosen to be rewarded that day. Calcium imaging was used to record from more than 1,000 cells in area CA1 of the hippocampus of five rats during the exploration, sample, and choice phases of the daily task. The key finding was that neural activity in the startbox rose steadily in the short period prior to entry to the arena and that this selective population cell firing was predictive of the daily changing goal on correct trials but not on trials in which the animals made errors. Single-cell and population activity measures converged on the idea that prospective coding of neural activity can be involved in navigational decision-making.
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Early online date||24 Oct 2022|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 24 Oct 2022|