Topic: Speed, acceleration, elapsed time and the estimation of displacement in the GPS of the brain.

  Speaker:Emilio Kropff

  Time:November 23rd,9:00-10:00 am Beijing Time

  Venue:online (ZOOM)

  Host:Dr. Chenglin Miao


  In mammals, the internal GPS is centered around the hippocampus and surrounding structures. Neurons such as place cells and grid cells are thought to aid navigation, but the exact mechanisms and interplay between areas are still poorly understood. From a computational perspective, speed needs to be integrated in time to obtain displacement. I will present some evidence supporting the idea that this is collectively performed by speed cells and grid cells in the medial entorhinal cortex. In addition, acceleration poses a computational challenge. Does the brain include it in the calculation of displacement, which then becomes a non-linear computation, or does it choose to disregard it? I will present evidence supporting the notion that the brain uses the latter strategy, which places acceleration as a source of error in the computation of displacement. This error, however, can be mitigated through the precise control of the timing of brain oscillations, which I will also discuss.