McNaughton, Bruce

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    Evidence for an evolutionary conserved memory coding scheme in the mammalian hippocampus
    (Society for Neuroscience, 2017) Thome, Alexander; Marrone, Diano F.; Ellmore, Timothy M.; Chawla, Monica K.; Lipa, Peter; Ramirez-Amaya, Victor; Lisanby, Sarah H.; McNaughton, Bruce L.; Barnes, Carol A.
    Decades of research identify the hippocampal formation as central to memory storage and recall. Events are stored via distributed population codes, the parameters of which (e.g., sparsity and overlap) determine both storage capacity and fidelity. However, it remains unclear whether the parameters governing information storage are similar between species. Because episodic memories are rooted in the space in which they are experienced, the hippocampal response to navigation is often used as a proxy to study memory. Critically, recent studies in rodents that mimic the conditions typical of navigation studies in humans and non human primates (i.e.,virtual reality) show that reduced sensory input alters hippocampal representations of space. The goal of this study was to quantify this effect and determine whether there are commonalities in information storage across species. Using functional molecular imaging, we observe that navigation in virtual environments elicits activity in fewer CA1 neurons relative to real-world conditions. Conversely, comparable neuronal activity is observed in hippocampus region CA3 and the dentate gyrus under both conditions. Surprisingly, we also find evidence that the absolute number of neurons used to represent an experience is relatively stable between non human primates and rodents. We propose that this convergence reflects an optimal ensemble size for episodic memories.
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    Interaction of egocentric and world-centered reference frames in the rat posterior parietal cortex
    (Society for Neuroscience, 2014) Wilber, Aaron A.; Clark, Benjamin J.; Forster, Tyler C.; Tatsuno, Masami; McNaughton, Bruce L.
    Navigation requires coordination of egocentric and allocentric spatial reference frames and may involve vectorial computations relative to landmarks. Creation of are presentation of target heading relative to landmarks could be accomplished from neurons that encode the conjunction of egocentric landmark bearings with allocentric head direction. Landmark vector representations could then be created by combining these cells with distance encoding cells. Landmark vector cells have been identified in rodent hippocampus. Given remembered vectors at go allocations, it would be possible to use such cells to compute trajectories to hidden goals. To look for the first stage in this process, we assessed parietal cortical neuralactivity as a function of egocentric cue light location and allocentric head direction in rats running a random sequence to light locations around a circular platform. We identified cells that exhibit the predicted egocentric-by allocentric conjunctive characteristics and anticipate orienting toward the goal.
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    Long-term recordings improve the detection of weak excitatory-excitatory connections in rat prefrontal cortex
    (Society for Neuroscience, 2014) Schwindel, C. Daniela; Ali, Karim; McNaughton, Bruce L.; Tatsuno, Masami
    Characterization of synaptic connectivity is essential to understanding neural circuit dynamics. For extracellularly recorded spike trains, indirect evidence for connectivity can be inferred from short-latency peaks in the correlogram between two neurons. Despite their predominance in cortex, however, significant interactions between excitatory neurons (E) have been hard to detect because of their intrinsic weakness. By taking advantage of long duration recordings, up to 25 h, from rat prefrontal cortex, we found that 7.6% of the recorded pyramidal neurons are connected. This corresponds to 70% of the local E–E connection probability that has been reported by paired intracellular recordings(11.6%). This value is significantly higher than previous reports from extracellular recordings, but still a substantial underestimate. Our analysis showed that long recording times and strict significance thresholds are necessary to detect weak connections while avoiding false-positive results, but will likely still leave many excitatory connections undetected. In addition, we found that hyper-reciprocity of connections in prefrontal cortex that was shown previously by paired intracellular recordings was only present in short-distance, but not in long distance (300 micrometers or more) interactions. As hyper-reciprocity is restricted to local clusters, it might be a mini columnar effect. Given the current surge of interest in very high-density neural spike recording (e.g., NIH BRAIN Project) it is of paramount importance that we have statistically reliable methods for estimating connectivity from cross-correlation analysis available. We provide an important step in this direction.
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    Reactivation of rate remapping in CA3
    (Society for Neuroscience, 2016) Schwindel, C. Daniela; Navratilova, Zaneta; Ali, Karim; Tatsuno, Masami; McNaughton, Bruce L.
    The hippocampus is thought to contribute to episodic memory by creating, storing, and reactivating patterns that are unique to each experience, including different experiences that happen at the same location. Hippocampus can combine spatial and contextual/episodic information using a dual coding scheme known as “global” and “rate” remapping. Global remapping selects which set of neurons can activate at a given location. Rate remapping readjusts the firing rates of this set depending on current experience, thus expressing experience-unique patterns at each location. But can the experience-unique component be retrieved spontaneously? Whereas reactivation of recent, spatially selective patterns in hippocampus is well established, it is never perfect, raising the issue of whether the experiential component might be absent. This question is key to the hypothesis that hippocampus can assist memory consolidation by reactivating and broadcasting experience-specific “index codes” to neocortex. In CA3, global remapping exhibits attractor-like dynamics, whereas rate remapping apparently does not, leading to the hypothesis that only the former can be retrieved associatively and casting doubt on the general consolidation hypothesis. Therefore, we studied whether the rate component is reactivated spontaneously during sleep. We conducted neural ensemble recordings from CA3 while rats ran on a circular track in different directions (in different sessions) and while they slept. It was shown previously that the two directions of running result in strong rate remapping. During sleep, the most recent rate distribution was reactivated preferentially. Therefore, CA3 can retrieve patterns spontaneously that are unique to both the location and the content of recent experience.
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    Cortical connectivity maps reveal anatomically distinct areas in the parietal cortex of the rat
    (Frontiers Media, 2014) Wilber, Aaron A.; Clark, Benjamin J.; Demecha, Alexis J.; Mesina, Lilia; Vos, Jessica M.; McNaughton, Bruce L.
    A central feature of theories of spatial navigation involves the representation of spatial relationships between objects in complex environments. The parietal cortex has long been linked to the processing of spatial visual information and recent evidence from single unit recording in rodents suggests a role for this region in encoding egocentric and world-centered frames. The rat parietal cortex can be subdivided into four distinct rostral-caudal andmedial-lateral regions,which includesazonepreviously characterized as secondary visual cortex. At present, very little is known regarding the relative connectivity of these parietal subdivisions. Thus, we set out to map the connectivity of the entire anterior-posterior and medial-lateral span of this region. To do this we used anterograde and retrograde tracers in conjunction with open source neuronal segmentation and tracer detection tools to generate whole brain connectivity maps of parietal inputs and outputs. Our present results show that inputs to the parietal cortex varied significantly along the medial-lateral, but not the rostral-caudal axis. Specifically, retrosplenial connectivity is greater medially, but connectivity with visual cortex, though generally sparse, is more significantlaterally.Finally,basedonconnectiondensity,theconnectivitybetweenparietal cortex and hippocampus is indirect and likely achieved largely via dysgranular retrosplenial cortex. Thus, similar to primates, the parietal cortex of rats exhibits a difference in connectivity along the medial-lateral axis, which may represent functionally distinct areas.