Chinese Science Bulletin, Volume 65 , Issue 8 : 656-664(2020) https://doi.org/10.1360/TB-2019-0404

Neuroscientists are questing to unlock the secrets of three-dimensional navigation in the brains of bats

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  • ReceivedAug 16, 2019
  • AcceptedOct 8, 2019
  • PublishedDec 13, 2019


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  • Figure 1

    Four types of fundamental spatial cell. Figure shows one example of each type of fundamental spatial cell. (a) Place cell; (b) grid cell; (c) HD cell; (d) boundary cell. For each cell: Upper row shows locational firing ratemap (a, b, d) or directional firing polar plot (c), with peak firing rate in hertz shown top right of rate map/polar plot; lower column depicts path taken over whole trial (black line), on which are plotted the locations at which spikes were recorded (green squares). In firing rate maps, one of five colours in locational bin indicates spatially smoothed firing rate in that bin (autoscaled to firing rate peak; dark blue, 0–20%; light blue, 20%–40%; green, 40%–60%; yellow, 60%–80%; red, 80%–100%). HD, grid and boundary cell recorded in 1 m × 1 m (place cell: 62 cm × 62 cm) square-walled box with 50 cm-high walls. For boundary cell, 50 cm-long barrier inserted into box elicits the second field along north side of barrier in addition to original field along south wall. Cells provided by Sarah Stewart and Colin Lever. Adapted from Ref. [23]

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) Schematic graph shows three-dimension navigation and navigation cells’ functions of bats. The schematic graph shows the function of navigation cell when a bat navigates from one location to another in a space. (a) Place cell in 3D space and its response field; (b) social place cell, locating other bats; (c) 3D head direction cell, supporting navigation in 3D space. Adapted from Ref. [6]