The sense of place

My lab studies the activity of single neurons in the hippocampus and in those regions that project to it, in order to understand what environmental information the cells use to form their map of space. We study rats and mice, and our collaborators extend those findings into studies in humans. Our experimental setup is shown below, in which a rat explores (searching for food) while the activity of hippocampal neurons is monitored.

Recording setup

Experimental setup for recording spatially responsive neurons. The plot at the top right shows the final data form, in which the activity of a neuron (its action potentials) are shown plotted at the place where the animal was when the cell fired. This place cell has a "place field" in the North-East corner of the apparatus.

Below are shown typical recordings from each of the four main spatial cell types; a place cell, a head direction cell, a grid cell and a border cell.

Relevant recent publications:
  • Ismakov R, Barak O, Jeffery KJ, Derdikman D (2017) Grid cells store local positional information. Current Biology 27(15):2337-2343 doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.034 pdf
  • Kim M, Jeffery KJ, Maguire EA (2017) Multivoxel pattern analysis reveals isotropic 3D place representations in the human hippocampus. Journal of Neuroscience, 7(16):4270-4279. pdf
  • Grieves R and Jeffery, KJ (2017) The representation of space in the brain. Behavioural Processes 135:113-131. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2016.12.012. pdf
  • Marozzi E, Ginzberg L-L, Alenda A, Jeffery KJ (2015) Purely translational realignment in grid cells following non-metric context change. Cerebral Cortex, 25(11):4619-27 doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhv120 pdf
  • Hayman, R and Jeffery, K (2008) How heterogeneous place cell responding arises from homogeneous grids - a contextual gating hypothesis. Hippocampus, 18:1301-13 pdf