Phasic and tonic neuron ensemble codes for stimulus-environment conjunctions in the lateral entorhinal cortex

Maryna Pilkiw, Nathan Insel, Yonghua Cui, Caitlin Finney, Mark D. Morrissey, Kaori Takehara-Nishiuchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) is thought to bind sensory events with the environment where they took place. To compare the relative influence of transient events and temporally stable environmental stimuli on the firing of LEC cells, we recorded neuron spiking patterns in the region during blocks of a trace eyeblink conditioning paradigm performed in two environments and with different conditioning stimuli. Firing rates of some neurons were phasically selective for conditioned stimuli in a way that depended on which room the rat was in; nearly all neurons were tonically selective for environments in a way that depended on which stimuli had been presented in those environments. As rats moved from one environment to another, tonic neuron ensemble activity exhibited prospective information about the conditioned stimulus associated with the environment. Thus, the LEC formed phasic and tonic codes for event-environment associations, thereby accurately differentiating multiple experiences with overlapping features.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28611
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournaleLife
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

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