Bourboulou R - Marti G - Michon FX - El Feghaly E - Nouguier M - Robbe D - Koenig J - Epsztein J




The ability to flexibly navigate an environment relies on a hippocampal-dependent cognitive map. External space can be internally mapped at different spatial resolutions. However, whether hippocampal spatial coding resolution can rapidly adapt to local features of an environment remains unclear. To explore this possibility, we recorded the firing of hippocampal neurons in mice navigating virtual reality environments, embedding or not local visual cues (virtual 3D objects) in specific locations. Virtual objects enhanced spatial coding resolution in their vicinity with a higher proportion of place cells, smaller place fields, increased spatial selectivity and stability. This effect was highly dynamic upon objects manipulations. Objects also improved temporal coding resolution through improved theta phase precession and theta timescale spike coordination. We propose that the fast adaptation of hippocampal spatial coding resolution to local features of an environment could be relevant for large-scale navigation.

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