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Multiple types of navigational information are independently encoded in the population activities of the dentate gyrus neurons


Authors: Tomoyuki Murano, Ryuichi Nakajima, Akito Nakao, Nao Hirata, Satoko Amemori, Akira Murakami, Yukiyasu Kamitani, Jun Yamamoto, and Tsuyoshi Miyakawa
Publication: PNAS
Date: August 5, 2022
Link to article: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2106830119


The dentate gyrus (DG) plays critical roles in cognitive functions, such as learning, memory, and spatial coding, and its dysfunction is implicated in various neuropsychiatric disorders. However, it remains largely unknown how information is represented in this region. Here, we recorded neuronal activity in the DG using Ca2+ imaging in freely moving mice and analyzed this activity using machine learning. The activity patterns of populations of DG neurons enabled us to successfully decode position, speed, and motion direction in an open field, as well as current and future location in a T-maze, and each individual neuron was diversely and independently tuned to these multiple information types. Our data also showed that each type of information is unevenly distributed in groups of DG neurons, and different types of information are independently encoded in overlapping, but different, populations of neurons. In alpha-calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (αCaMKII) heterozygous knockout mice, which present deficits in spatial remote and working memory, the decoding accuracy of position in the open field and future location in the T-maze were selectively reduced. These results suggest that multiple types of information are independently distributed in DG neurons.

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