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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Riccardo Ratto

PhD Student



Project Title: 

Sublayer-specific spatial coding in the hippocampus


Neurons in the Hippocampus have been extensively studied for navigation, learning, and memory processing and are thought to form cognitive maps of physical and, potentially, abstract spaces. However, for many years CA1 pyramidal cells, the Hippocampus's primary output, have been referred to as a homogeneous population of neurons, yet recent studies have shown that these cells largely differ in their anatomy-physiological characteristics.

These neurons play a crucial role in an animal's internal representation of space, but their contribution to spatial representation is still a mystery. In particular, distinct subpopulations of CA1 pyramidal neurons seem to respond to different contextual features, and their ability to integrate sensory inputs with motion-related cues is not fully understood yet. With this project, we combine a new 2D virtual reality system that limits head movements to horizontal rotations and in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to investigate whether distinct CA1 subpopulations of neurons may be differently modulated by visual or self-motion inputs.



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