An independent, landmark-dominated head-direction signal in dysgranular retrosplenial cortex

Nat Neurosci. 2017 Feb;20(2):173-175. doi: 10.1038/nn.4465. Epub 2016 Dec 19.


We investigated how landmarks influence the brain's computation of head direction and found that in a bidirectionally symmetrical environment, some neurons in dysgranular retrosplenial cortex showed bidirectional firing patterns. This indicates dominance of neural activity by local environmental cues even when these conflicted with the global head direction signal. It suggests a mechanism for associating landmarks to or dissociating them from the head direction signal, according to their directional stability and/or utility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cues*
  • Head / physiology*
  • Head Movements / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rotation