Models of Spatial Representation

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Simon Weber

Neurons in the hippocampus and adjacent brain areas show a large diversity in their tuning to location and head direction. The underlying circuit mechanisms are not resolved. In particular, it is unclear why certain cell types are selective to one spatial variable, but invariant to another. For example, place cells are typically invariant to head direction. We use simulations and mathematical analyses of feedforward and recurrent neural networks to study how all observed spatial tuning patterns — in both their selectivity and their invariance — could arise from the same mechanism: Excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity that is driven by the spatial tuning statistics of synaptic inputs.