About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Brain Mapmaking Better Understood With Newly Discovered Grid Cells

by Tanya Thomas on August 12, 2010 at 10:31 AM
Font : A-A+

 Brain Mapmaking Better Understood With Newly Discovered Grid Cells

According to new research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), grid cells, which help the brain map locations, have been found for the first time outside of the hippocampus in the rat brain.

The finding should help further our understanding of how the brain generates the internal maps that help us remember where we have been and how to get to where we want to go.


In 2005, researchers at NTNU's Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience were the first to discover the intricacies of how the brain creates internal maps using grid cells in a coordinate system.

Grid cells provide geometric coordinates for locations and help the brain generate an internal grid to help in navigation.

Along with place cells, which code for specific locations, head direction cells, which act like a compass, and border cells, which define the borders of an environment, grid cells enable the brain to generate a series of maps of different scales and help with recognition of specific landmarks.

However, until now, place cells had only been found in the hippocampus and grid and border cells in the medial entorhinal cortex, but Kavli researchers report finding many grid cells intermingled with head direction and border cells in the presubiculum and parasubiculum areas of the brain, which are locations that are the source of some of the major inputs of medial entorhinal cortex.

This finding will help in particular, scientists who are trying to understand the mechanisms that actually generate grid signals in the brain. The presubiculum and the parasubiculum are not the same as the medial entorhinal cortex but share some properties and connections.

"It is in this direction that we should look for further explanations," Nature quoted Charlotte Boccara the first author of the paper and a researcher at the Kavli Institute as saying.

The report was published in the August issue of Nature Neuroscience.

Source: ANI

Recommended Reading

This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Brain Mapmaking Better Understood With Newly Discovered Grid Cells Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests