Institutional Research Information Service
UCL Logo
Please report any queries concerning the funding data grouped in the sections named "Externally Awarded" or "Internally Disbursed" (shown on the profile page) to your Research Finance Administrator. Your can find your Research Finance Administrator at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/research/post_award/post_award_contacts.php by entering your department
Please report any queries concerning the student data shown on the profile page to:

Email: portico-services@ucl.ac.uk

Help Desk: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
Publication Detail
Self-Organized Attractor Dynamics in the Developing Head Direction Circuit.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Bassett JP, Wills TJ, Cacucci F
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Current biology : CB
  • Medium:
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Addresses:
    Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
Head direction (HD) cells are neurons found in an extended cortical and subcortical network that signal the orientation of an animal's head relative to its environment [1-3]. They are a fundamental component of the wider circuit of spatially responsive hippocampal formation neurons that make up the neural cognitive map of space [4]. During post-natal development, HD cells are the first among spatially modulated neurons in the hippocampal circuit to exhibit mature firing properties [5, 6], but before eye opening, HD cell responses in rat pups have low directional information and are directionally unstable [7, 8]. Using Bayesian decoding of HD cell ensemble activity recorded in the anterodorsal thalamic nucleus (ADN), we characterize this instability and identify its source: under-signaling of angular head velocity, which incompletely shifts the directional signal in proportion to head turns. We find evidence that geometric cues (the corners of a square environment) can be used to mitigate this under-signaling and, thereby, stabilize the directional signal even before eye opening. Crucially, even when directional firing cannot be stabilized, ensembles of unstable HD cells show short-timescale (1-10 s) temporal and spatial couplings consistent with an adult-like HD network. The HD network is widely modeled as a continuous attractor whose output is one coherent activity peak, updated during movement by angular head velocity signals and anchored by landmark cues [9-11]. Our findings present strong evidence for this model, and they demonstrate that the required network circuitry is in place and functional early during development, independent of reference to landmark information.
Publication data is maintained in RPS. Visit https://rps.ucl.ac.uk
 More search options
UCL Researchers
Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology
Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology
Cell & Developmental Biology
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999–2011

Search by