Hippocampal place cells encode the animal’s location. Place cells were traditionally studied in small environments, and nothing is known about large ethologically relevant spatial scales. We wirelessly recorded from hippocampal dorsal CA1 neurons of wild-born bats flying in a long tunnel (200 meters). The size of place fields ranged from 0.6 to 32 meters. Individual place cells exhibited multiple fields and a multiscale representation: Place fields of the same neuron differed up to 20-fold in size. This multiscale coding was observed from the first day of exposure to the environment, and also in laboratory-born bats that never experienced large environments. Theoretical decoding analysis showed that the multiscale code allows representation of very large environments with much higher precision than that of other codes. Together, by increasing the spatial scale, we discovered a neural code that is radically different from classical place codes.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science)|
|State||Published - 28 May 2021|