Head direction, place, and movement correlates for cells in the rat retrosplenial cortex

Behav Neurosci. 2001 Feb;115(1):3-25. doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.115.1.3.


The retrosplenial cortex is strongly connected with brain regions involved in spatial signaling. To test whether it also codes space, single cells were recorded while rats navigated in an open field. As in earlier work (L. L. Chen, L. H. Lin, C. A. Barnes, & B. L. McNaughton, 1994; L. L. Chen, L. H. Lin, E. J. Green, C. A. Barnes, & B. L. McNaughton, 1994), the authors found head direction cells with properties similar to those in other areas. These cells were slightly anticipatory. Another cell type fired to particular combinations of location, direction, and movement, which suggested that they may fire whenever the rat approaches a particular location, using a particular locomotor behavior. The remaining cells could not be clearly categorized but also showed a significant correlation with one or more of the spatial-movement variables examined. The fact that the retrosplenial cortex contains spatial and movement-related signals and is connected with the motor cortex suggests that it may play a role in path integration or navigational motor planning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / surgery
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Head / physiology*
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Posture*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Spatial Behavior / physiology