Grid cells in 3-D: Reconciling data and models

Hippocampus. 2015 Dec;25(12):1489-500. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22469. Epub 2015 Jun 2.


It is well documented that place cells and grid cells in echolocating bats show properties similar to those described in rodents, and yet, continuous theta-frequency oscillations, proposed to play a central role in grid/place cell formation, are not present in bat recordings. These comparative neurophysiological data have raised many questions about the role of theta-frequency oscillations in spatial memory and navigation. Additionally, spatial navigation in three-dimensions poses new challenges for the representation of space in neural models. Inspired by the literature on space representation in the echolocating bat, we have developed a nonoscillatory model of 3-D grid cell creation that shares many of the features of existing oscillatory-interference models. We discuss the model in the context of current knowledge of 3-D space representation and highlight directions for future research.

Keywords: bat; grid cells; hippocampus; place cells; space representation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chiroptera
  • Echolocation / physiology
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Spatial Navigation / physiology*
  • Theta Rhythm / physiology