Skip to main content


Figure 1 | Neural Systems & Circuits

Figure 1

From: From A to Z: a potential role for grid cells in spatial navigation

Figure 1

Single unit recordings made from the hippocampal formation. a) CA1 place cell recorded from a rat. The left-hand figure shows the raw data: the black line being the animal’s path as it foraged for rice in a 1 m2 arena for 20 minutes; superimposed green dots indicating the animal’s location each time the place cell fired an action potential. Right, the same data processed to show firing rate (number of spike divided by dwell time) per spatial bin. Red indicates bins with high firing rate and blue indicates low firing rate, white bins are unvisited, and peak firing rate is shown above the map. b) Raw data and corresponding rate map for a single mEC grid cell showing the multiple firing fields arranged in a hexagonal lattice. c) Three co-recorded grid cells, the center of each firing field indicated by a cross with different colors corresponding to each cell. The firing pattern of each cell is effectively a translation of the other co-recorded cells as shown by superposition of the crosses (right). d) Changes made to the geometry of a familiar environment cause grid cell firing to be distorted (rescale) demonstrating that grid firing is, at least, partially controlled by environmental cues, in this case the location of the arena’s walls. Raw data are shown on the left and the corresponding rate maps on the right. The rat was familiar with the 1 m2 arena (outlined in red). Changing the shape of the familiar arena by sliding the walls past each other produced a commensurate change in the scale of grid firing. For example, shortening the x-axis to 70 cm from 100 cm (top right) caused grid firing in the x-axis to reduce to 78% of its previous scale, while grid scale in the Y-axis was relatively unaffected. Numbers next to the rate maps indicate the proportional change in grid scale measured along that axis (figure adapted from reference [28]).

Back to article page