I am interested in how information from external visual cues gets incorporated into the internal representation of the environment of an animal. In particular, I want to investigate the visual-cue anchoring effect that can be observed in several types of cells, namely place cells, grid cells and head direction cells. These cells have all been shown to reference their receptive fields to salient visual landmarks of the environment. Previous lesion studies show that the postsubiculum is necessary for stable anchoring of the receptive fields of both place cells and head direction cells to the salient visual cues. Using rats as model animals, I am recording place cells from the CA1 area of the hippocampus with concurrent drug-delivering cannula implanted in the postsubiculum. The setup allows me to interfere with the neuronal activities of the postsubiculum with drugs, in order to explore whether plasticity is required for establishing and consolidating the cue anchoring effect when the rats are exposed to novel environments.
Related Publications and Presentations
- Matthijs Van Der Meer, D. Yogaranasimha, J.J. Knierim, Emma Wood, and Mark C W Van Rossum, “Anticipation in the rodent head direction system can be explained by vestibular adaptation and rebound”, Journal of Neurophysiology, 2007, 98, 1883-1897.