CA1 cells receive direct input from space-responsive cells in medial entorhinal cortex (MEC), such as grid cells, as well as more nonspatial cells in lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC). Because MEC projects preferentially to the proximal part of the CA1, bordering CA2, whereas LEC innervates only the distal part, bordering subiculum, we asked if spatial tuning is graded along the transverse axis of CA1. Tetrodes were implanted along the entire proximodistal axis of dorsal CA1 in rats. Data were recorded in cylinders large enough to elicit firing at more than one location in many neurons. Distal CA1 cells showed more dispersed firing and had a larger number of firing fields than proximal cells. Phase-locking of spikes to MEC theta oscillations was weaker in distal CA1 than in proximal CA1. The findings suggest that spatial firing in CA1 is organized transversally, with the strongest spatial modulation occurring in the MEC-associated proximal part.
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