A Visual-Cue-Dependent Memory Circuit for Place Navigation

Neuron, 99, 1–9, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2018.05.021
Neuron, online article

The ability to remember and to navigate to safe places is necessary for survival. Place navigation is known to involve medial entorhinal cortex (MEC)-hippocampal connections. However, learning-dependent changes in neuronal activity in the distinct circuits remain unknown. Here, by using optic fiber photometry in freely behaving mice, we discovered the experience-dependent induction of a persistent-task-associated (PTA) activity. This PTA activity critically depends on learned visual cues and builds up selectively in the MEC layer II-dentate gyrus, but not in the MEC layer III-CA1 pathway, and its optogenetic suppression disrupts navigation to the target location. The findings suggest that the visual system, the MEC layer II, and the dentate gyrus are essential hubs of a memory circuit for visually guided navigation.

TU München
Helmholtz München
MPI of Neurobiology
MPI of Biochemistry