Decoding the cognitive map: Ensemble hippocampal sequences and decision making

Andrew M. Wikenheiser, A. David Redish

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Tolman proposed that complex animal behavior is mediated by the cognitive map, an integrative learning system that allows animals to reconfigure previous experience in order to compute predictions about the future. The discovery of place cells in the rodent hippocampus immediately suggested a plausible neural mechanism to fulfill the 'map' component of Tolman's theory. Recent work examining hippocampal representations occurring at fast time scales suggests that these sequences might be important for supporting the inferential mental operations associated with the cognitive map function. New findings that hippocampal sequences play an important causal role in mediating adaptive behavior on a moment-by-moment basis suggest specific neural processes that may underlie Tolman's cognitive map framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in neurobiology
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


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