Role of Velocity Perception on Place Field Size and Density of Hippocampal Place Cells

Kangning Xie, Yue Tian, Guanghao Shen, Yili Yan, Tao Lei, Zhimei Qiao, Zheng Yan, Quanshen Xu, Chi Tang, Juan Liu, Wei Guo, Shangkai Gao, Xiaoming Wu, and Erping Luo


Velocity, theta rhythm, place cell, phase precession


Place field size is stable for a given neuron in a familiar environment, yet increases along the septotemporal axis of hippocampal CA1. It is suggested that place cell assemblies are velocity controlled oscillators (VCO), i.e., the place cell’s oscillation frequency is positively correlated with the running velocity. The VCO model has the potential assumption that the velocity is correctly perceived. However, the perception of velocity may not be faithful to the actual physical velocity in some pathological and behavioral conditions. In this study, we examine the scenario in which perceived velocity deviates from the actual value. Place field size and distribution density change with the precision of perceived velocity. Simulation studies verify that this model is in accordance with previous studies. Testable predictions are also proposed.

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