Place cell firing relies on information about self-motion and the external environment, which may be conveyed by grid and border cells, respectively. Here, we investigate the possible contributions of these cell types to place cell firing, taking advantage of a developmental time window during which stable border cell, but not grid cell, inputs are available. We find that before weaning, the place cell representation of space is denser, more stable, and more accurate close to environmental boundaries. Boundary-responsive neurons such as border cells may, therefore, contribute to stable and accurate place fields in pre-weanling rats. By contrast, place cells become equally stable and accurate throughout the environment after weaning and in adulthood. This developmental switch in place cell accuracy coincides with the emergence of the grid cell network in the entorhinal cortex, raising the possibility that grid cells contribute to stable place fields when an organism is far from environmental boundaries.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.