Nov 9, 2018

Prefrontal cortex creates novel navigation sequences from hippocampal place-cell replay with spatial reward propagation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Nicolas CazinPeter Ford Dominey


As rats learn to search for multiple sources of food or water in a complex environment, they generate increasingly efficient trajectories between reward sites, across multiple trials. This optimization capacity has been characterized in the Traveling Salesrat Problem (TSP) (de Jong et al (2011). Such spatial navigation capacity involves the replay of hippocampal place-cells during awake states, generating small sequences of spatially related place-cell activity that we call “snippets”. These snippets occur primarily during sharp-wave-ripple (SWR) events. Here we focus on the role of replay during the awake state, as the animal is learning across multiple trials. We hypothesize that snippet replay generates synthetic data that can substantially expand and restructure the experience available to make PFC learning more optimal. We developed a model of snippet generation that is modulated by reward, propagated in the forward and reverse directions. This implements a form of spatial credit assignment for reinforcement learning. We use a biologically motivated computational framework known as ‘reservoir computing’ to model PFC in sequence learning, in which large pools of prewired neural elements process information dynamically throu...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Place Cells
Prefrontal Cortex
Clinical Trials
Patient Navigation
Prefrontal Cortex (Walker)
Orientation (spatial)

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