Anatomical connectivity and recent neurophysiological results imply that grid cells in the medial entorhinal cortex are the principal cortical inputs to place cells in the hippocampus. The authors propose a model in which place fields of hippocampal pyramidal cells are formed by linear summation of appropriately weighted inputs from entorhinal grid cells. Single confined place fields could be formed by summing input from a modest number (10-50) of grid cells with relatively similar grid phases, diverse grid orientations, and a biologically plausible range of grid spacings. When the spatial phase variation in the grid-cell input was higher, multiple, and irregularly spaced firing fields were formed. These observations point to a number of possible constraints in the organization of functional connections between grid cells and place cells.
(c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.