Analyzing the Hippocampal Place Cell Phenomenon by Modeling the Central Visual Pathway
Many simulations have examined the mechanisms by which the hippocampus processes spatial information and relates that information to determine place orientation. There are currently numerous models that explain how different aspects of place determination is processed and that elucidate specific mechanisms. These studies are crucial in explaining place phenomenon since they shed light on the basic (lower) level of processing and organization that is fundamental to the understanding of more complex (higher) levels, namely the hippocampal activity in response to the location or place of the animal. Recently, a simple artificial neural network model has been developed by Sharp (1991)which effectively reproduces place cell activity. However, this model and others developed by Zipser (1985), O’Keefe (1990), McNaughton (1989) all share a common feature, namely they are very broad and nonspecific models of hippocampal activity. The present model not only shares the general, or large scale feature of these previous models, but in addition, incorporates the specific individual cell activity that is unique in all regions of the model. The simulation is written in GENESIS, a graphically oriented general purpose numerical simulator that allows modeling of realistic neuronal networks and biologically based models.
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