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grid cell

a type of neuron that encodes abstract spatial information about distances, forming a gridlike array of activity presumably used by other brain structures in spatial computations. Originally found in the medial entorhinal cortex, which acts as a gateway regulating the flow of information from sensory cortices to the hippocampus, grid cells have since been identified in areas of the subiculum as well. They have response properties independent of any particular environment; each cell fires selectively at multiple spatial locations, which are geometrically arranged to form a hexagonal lattice representing an organism’s surroundings. Several theories have been proposed to account for the precise mechanisms by which grid cells code trajectories through space, such as the oscillatory interference model and the moiré interference model. See also spatial cognition. [discovered in rats in 2005 by Norwegian physiologist Torkel Hafting (1972–  ), U.S.-born Norwegian neuroscientist Marianne Fyhn, Norwegian physiologist Sturla Molden, and Norwegian neuroscientists May-Britt Moser (1963–  ) and Edvard I. Moser (1962–  )]

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Psychology term of the day

May 26th 2024



1. adj. having the quality of diminishing or retarding a function or activity of a body system or organ.

2. n. any agent that has this quality, especially a CNS depressant.