Munich Neuroscience Calendar


29.03.2019, 12:15 Graduate School of Neuroscience

Event Type: Talk
Speaker: Nachum Ulanovsky
Institute: Weizmann Institute, Israel

Title: Neurolunch: "Neural codes for natural navigation in the hippocampal formation of bats"

GSN Seminar Room D00.003
Großhaderner Str. 2
82152 Martinsried

Host: Kate Sytnik

The work in our lab focuses on understanding the neural basis of spatial memory and spatial cognition - using bats as our animal model. In my talk I will present some of our recent studies, which explored the following questions: (i) How does the brain represent positions and directions in 3D? A set of studies revealed 3D place cells, 3D head-directions cells, and 3D grid cells in the bat hippocampal formation. (ii) How are navigational goals represented in the brain? We discovered a new kind of vectorial representation of spatial goals - whereby hippocampal neurons encode the direction and distance to a spatial goal. (iii) I will describe our recent discovery of "social place-cells" in the bat hippocampus - neurons that represent the position of other bats (conspecifics). (iv) Finally, I will describe ongoing work towards elucidating hippocampal neural codes in realistic, kilometer-scale environments, where we discovered an unexpected multi-scale coding of space. Our long-term vision is to develop a “Natural Neuroscience“ approach for studying the neural basis of behavior - tapping into the animal’s natural behaviors in complex, large-scale, naturalistic settings.

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