Monthly
288 pp. per issue
6 x 9, illustrated
ISSN
0899-7667
E-ISSN
1530-888X
2014 Impact factor:
2.21

Neural Computation

March 2015, Vol. 27, No. 3, Pages 548-560
(doi: 10.1162/NECO_a_00701)
© 2015 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Oscillator-Interference Models of Path Integration Do Not Require Theta Oscillations
Article PDF (372.27 KB)
Abstract

Navigation and path integration in rodents seems to involve place cells, grid cells, and theta oscillations (4–12 Hz) in the local field potential. Two main theories have been proposed to explain the neurological underpinnings of how these phenomena relate to navigation and to each other. Attractor network (AN) models revolve around the idea that local excitation and long-range inhibition connectivity can spontaneously generate grid-cell-like activity patterns. Oscillator interference (OI) models propose that spatial patterns of activity are caused by the interference patterns between neural oscillators. In rats, these oscillators have a frequency close to the theta frequency. Recent studies have shown that bats do not exhibit a theta cycle when they crawl, and yet they still have grid cells. This has been interpreted as a criticism of OI models. However, OI models do not require theta oscillations. We explain why the absence of theta oscillations does not contradict OI models and discuss how the two families of models might be distinguished experimentally.