Neural Excitability, Synapses, and GliaVideo

Spatial functions of the hippocampus and medial entorhinal cortex – John O’Keefe Special Lecture

Streamed live from Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience on Jan 18, 2017

Spatial functions of the hippocampus and medial entorhinal cortex

Locating ourselves in familiar environments, navigating flexibly around those environments, and remembering where important objects can be found represent some of the most fundamental cognitive tasks that the brain performs. Remarkably there is a dedicated set of brain cells located in the hippocampal formation at the centre of a cognitive mapping network which performs these computations. In the first part of my talk, I will describe the place, direction, grid and boundary cells in the hippocampal formation which taken together comprise the cognitive map. I will emphasise the idea that a place cell can be constructed in two independent ways, one relying on current sensory information derived from the environment carried by the boundary cells and the other a path integration system which uses information from the direction and grid cells derived from the animal’s own movements. In addition to providing inputs for the construction of place representations, the grid cells appear to be good candidates to provide the distance metric for the map. In the second part of my talk, I will review recent evidence from our laboratory suggesting that the grid cells are a subset of a more extensive group of spatially periodic EC cells and that they might not be able to provide the metric for the cognitive map in all environments and under all circumstances.

About Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience’s Neuroimaging Techniques Course

MPFI’s advanced course in neuroimaging techniques course is an intensive and comprehensive laboratory-oriented program focused on applying imaging techniques to neuroscience research. The objective of this imaging course is to gain exposure to modern imaging tools from principle optics to applications in modern neuroscience.
For more information, visit