Non-local computation of goal vectors in hippocampal networks

Dr Caswell Barry (primary)
Charles Blundell (secondary)
Computer Science


Animals and humans are able to exploit structural knowledge about their environments in order to navigate directly to remembered goal-locations – a process known as vector-based navigation. Notably, vector-based navigation allows for short-cuts utilising previously unvisited routes to be taken and strongly indicates the existence of a cognitive spatial metric. Theoretical considerations, including those derived from AI-based models, suggest that entorhinal grid cells play a central role in this process. Specifically, non-local reactivations, which have been shown to engage grid cells, are thought to provide a means by which such computations are performed but this remains to be demonstrated experimentally.


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Ólafsdóttir, H. F., Carpenter, F., & Barry, C. (2016). Coordinated grid and place cell replay during rest. Nature neuroscience, 19(6), 792.

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Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
Microscopy / ElectrophysiologySimulation / Modelling