Decoding route selection of pigeon during goal-directed behavior: A joint spike-LFP study

Behav Brain Res. 2021 Jul 9:409:113289. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2021.113289. Epub 2021 Apr 6.


How to reach the goal is one of the core problems that animals must solve to complete goal-directed behavior. Studies have proved the important role of hippocampus (Hp) in spatial navigation and shown that hippocampal neural activities can represent the current location and goal location. However, for the different routes linking these two locations, the neural representation mechanism of the route selection in Hp is not clear. Here, we addressed this question using neural recordings of Hp ensembles and decoding analyses in pigeons performing a goal-directed route selection task known to require Hp participation. The hippocampal spike trains and local field potentials (LFPs) of five pigeons performing the task were acquired and analyzed. We found that the neuron firing rates and power spectrum characteristics in Hp could encode the animal's route selection during goal-directed behavior, suggesting that the representation of route selection was coherent for hippocampal spike and LFP signals. Decoding results further indicated that joint spike-LFP features resulted in a significant improvement in the representation accuracy of the route selection. These findings of this study will help to understand the encoding mechanism of route selection in goal-directed behavior.

Keywords: Goal-directed behavior; Hippocampus; LFP; Pigeon; Route selection; Spike.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Columbidae
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Electrocorticography
  • Goals*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Spatial Navigation / physiology*