Lost in Space

Looking for a more realistic way to study memory, we turned to place cells­­—­a network of cells that record a rat’s memory of an environment. 

Carol Barnes
Aug 31, 2011

Infographic: Lost in Space
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TAMI TOLPA (MAZE); CAROL BARNES (COGNITIVE MAPS, SOURCE: NATURE 388/ 17 JULY 1997)

Looking for a more realistic way to study memory, we turned to place cells­­—­a network of cells that record a rat’s memory of an environment. Each place cell would fire only when the rat was in one particular location in space, creating a map as the animal traversed a maze. Since spatial memory deteriorates with age, we tested how well young and old rats could retrieve their place-cell maps.

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