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Hippocampal representations of foraging trajectories depend upon spatial context


Authors: Wan-Chen Jiang, Shengjin Xu, Joshua T. Dudman
Publication: Nature Neuroscience
Date: November 28, 2022
Link to article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-022-01201-7


Animals learn trajectories to rewards in both spatial, navigational contexts and relational, non-navigational contexts. Synchronous reactivation of hippocampal activity is thought to be critical for recall and evaluation of trajectories for learning. Do hippocampal representations differentially contribute to experience-dependent learning of trajectories across spatial and relational contexts? In this study, we trained mice to navigate to a hidden target in a physical arena or manipulate a joystick to a virtual target to collect delayed rewards. In a navigational context, calcium imaging in freely moving mice revealed that synchronous CA1 reactivation was retrospective and important for evaluation of prior navigational trajectories. In a non-navigational context, reactivation was prospective and important for initiation of joystick trajectories, even in the same animals trained in both contexts. Adaptation of trajectories to a new target was well-explained by a common learning algorithm in which hippocampal activity makes dissociable contributions to reinforcement learning computations depending upon spatial context.

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