Visual and Auditory Cues Support Place Field Activity of Hippocampal Units in the Rat

  • Phillip J. Best
  • Alvin J. Hill
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 26)


The firing rates of hippocampal units vary as a function of the animal’s position in space. For example, on an elevated radial maze a particular cell might show enhanced activity on one arm. In intact rats, if the maze is rotated within the environment, the place field of the cell persists with respect to the environment and not to the maze. Lesions of the fornix or entorhinal cortex reduce the robustness of place field activity and severely disrupt persistence with respect to the environment.

In blind and deaf rats hippocampal cells have place fields. Following maze rotation the place fields of most cells (11 of 15) remain on the original arm of the maze. In the other (4) cells the place fields persist with respect to the environment, but spinning the rat, to disturb vestibular function, disrupts this environmental persistence. Thus removal of sensory information has similar effects on hippocampal place cell activity as does lesions of hippocampal connections.


Firing Rate Entorhinal Cortex Place Field Persistent Cell Hippocampal Pyramidal Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phillip J. Best
    • 1
  • Alvin J. Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Virginia CharlottesvilleUSA

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