There are special neurons in the hippocampus called space cells. They activate when an animal appears in a specific place in its environment. Thanks to them, scientists are able to predict in which direction the animal will move.
Researchers from the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) in Austria noticed that the activation of a specific cell site could be related to the place where the rat was or where it went. Rodents were placed in eight arms of the labyrinth, three of which contained hidden food. In this way, the reference memory of the animals was tested, which allows the rats to remember which labyrinth arms contain food and which ones do not, as well as the working memory that allows remembering which arms still need to be examined.
We managed to capture the work of neurons while performing tasks. By observing the impulses of neurons during movement, the scientists were able to predict where the rodent would succeed.
That’s not all – in this way, scientists have also been able to predict when a rat will make a mistake. Based on the observation of cells in the hippocampus, it could be predicted that the rat would go to the wrong place before he could.
New research is exciting in the context of reference memory, but does not apply to working memory. This allows us to get closer to a better understanding of the brain GPS.