Dynamics of hippocampal ensemble activity realignment: Time versus space

A. David Redish, Ephron S. Rosenzweig, J. D. Bohanick, B. L. McNaughton, C. A. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Whether hippocampal map realignment is coupled more strongly to position or time was studied in rats trained to shuttle on a linear track. The rats were required to run from a start box and to pause at a goal location at a fixed location relative to stable distal cues (room-aligned coordinate frame). The origin of each lap was varied by shifting the start box and track as a unit (box-aligned coordinate frame) along the direction of travel. As observed by Gothard et al. (1996a), on each lap the hippocampal activity realigned from a representation that was box-aligned to one that was room-aligned. We studied the dynamics of this transition using a measure of how well the moment-by-moment ensemble activity matched the expected activity given the location of the animal in each coordinate frame. The coherency ratio, defined the ratio of the matches for the two coordinate systems, provide a quantitative measure of the ensemble activity alignment an was used to compare four possible descriptions of the realignment process. The elapsed time since leaving the box provide a better predictor of the occurrence of the transition than any the three spatial parameters investigated, suggesting that the shift between coordinate systems is at least partially governed a stochastic, time-dependent process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9298-9309
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2000


  • Attractor map
  • Coherency ratio
  • Hippocampus
  • Place cell
  • Spatial navigtion
  • Tetrode


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