Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Behav. Neurosci., 28 October 2011 | doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2011.00069

Representation of non-spatial and spatial information in the lateral entorhinal cortex

  • 1 Krieger Mind/Brain Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • 2 Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX, USA
  • 3 Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Some theories of memory propose that the hippocampus integrates the individual items and events of experience within a contextual or spatial framework. The hippocampus receives cortical input from two major pathways: the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) and the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC). During exploration in an open field, the firing fields of MEC grid cells form a periodically repeating, triangular array. In contrast, LEC neurons show little spatial selectivity, and it has been proposed that the LEC may provide non-spatial input to the hippocampus. Here, we recorded MEC and LEC neurons while rats explored an open field that contained discrete objects. LEC cells fired selectively at locations relative to the objects, whereas MEC cells were weakly influenced by the objects. These results provide the first direct demonstration of a double dissociation between LEC and MEC inputs to the hippocampus under conditions of exploration typically used to study hippocampal place cells.

Keywords: hippocampus, objects, navigation, memory, medial entorhinal cortex, grid cells

Citation: Deshmukh SS and Knierim JJ (2011) Representation of non-spatial and spatial information in the lateral entorhinal cortex. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 5:69. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2011.00069

Received: 22 August 2011; Accepted: 03 October 2011;
Published online: 28 October 2011.

Edited by:

Donald A. Wilson, New York University School of Medicine, USA

Reviewed by:

Rebecca D. Burwell, Brown University, USA
Anne-Marie Mouly, CNRS-Université de Lyon, UMR 5020, France

Copyright: © 2011 Deshmukh and Knierim. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.

*Correspondence: James J. Knierim, Krieger Mind/Brain Institute, Johns Hopkins University, 338 Krieger Hall, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA. e-mail: jknierim@jhu.edu

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