Beyond the Cognitive Map: From Place Cells to Episodic Memory
MIT Press, 1999 - Medical - 420 pages
There are currently two major theories about the role of the hippocampus, a distinctive structure in the back of the temporal lobe. One says that it stores a cognitive map, the other that it is a key locus for the temporary storage of episodic memories. A. David Redish takes the approach that understanding the role of the hippocampus in space will make it possible to address its role in less easily quantifiable areas such as memory. Basing his investigation on the study of rodent navigation--one of the primary domains for understanding information processing in the brain--he places the hippocampus in its anatomical context as part of a greater functional system.
Redish draws on the extensive experimental and theoretical work of the last 100 years to paint a coherent picture of rodent navigation. His presentation encompasses multiple levels of analysis, from single-unit recording results to behavioral tasks to computational modeling. From this foundation, he proposes a novel understanding of the role of the hippocampus in rodents that can shed light on the role of the hippocampus in primates, explaining data from primate studies and human neurology. The book will be of interest not only to neuroscientists and psychologists, but also to researchers in computer science, robotics, artificial intelligence, and artificial life.
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I begin the book by framing the hippocampus debate, after which I synthesize (in
the Hegelian sense of "pulling ideas together") a theory of navigation in the
rodent. Then I return to episodic memory to ask, computationally, what is the role
0), algorithms designed to handle Cartesian or polar coordinates may not be well
suited for the representations actually used by rodents. To understand how path
integration occurs in the rodent brain, we need to ask how the information is ...
This book addresses the same questions, but from a different starting point, trying
to be more explicitly computational and beginning from the rodent navigation
domain. But in the end, the conclusions are remarkably similar (chapter 13).
Two key experimental effects have driven hippocampal studies: 1. In the rodent.
Although the hippocampus is far removed from sensory stimuli, in the freely
moving rodent, hippocampal pyramidal cells show a remarkable correlation to
That the rodent hippocampus plays a role in navigation is well evidenced by
lesion, EEC, and single-cell neurophysiological data. No one denies that the
rodent hippocampus is involved in spatial navigation, although some believe that