Experience-dependent asymmetric shape of hippocampal receptive fields

Neuron. 2000 Mar;25(3):707-15. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)81072-7.


We propose a novel parameter, namely, the skewness, or asymmetry, of the shape of a receptive field to characterize two properties of hippocampal place fields. First, a majority of hippocampal receptive fields on linear tracks are negatively skewed, such that during a single pass the firing rate is low as the rat enters the field but high as it exits. Second, while the place fields are symmetric at the beginning of a session, they become highly asymmetric with experience. Further experiments suggest that these results are likely to arise due to synaptic plasticity during behavior. Using a purely feed forward neural network model, we show that following repeated directional activation, NMDA-dependent long-term potentiation/long-term depotentiation (LTP/LTD) could result in an experience-dependent asymmetrization of receptive fields.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Space Perception / physiology*