The functional micro-organization of grid cells revealed by cellular-resolution imaging

James G. Heys, Krsna V. Rangarajan, Daniel A. Dombeck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Establishing how grid cells are anatomically arranged, on a microscopic scale, in relation to their firing patterns in the environment would facilitate agreater microcircuit-level understanding of the brain's representation of space. However, all previous grid cell recordings used electrode techniques that provide limited descriptions of fine-scale organization. We therefore developed a technique for cellular-resolution functional imaging of medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) neurons in mice navigating a virtual linear track, enabling a new experimental approach to study MEC. Using these methods, we show that grid cells are physically clustered in MEC compared to nongrid cells. Additionally, we demonstrate that grid cells are functionally micro-organized: the similarity between the environment firing locations of grid cell pairs varies as a function of the distance between them according to a "Mexican hat"-shaped profile. This suggests that, on average, nearby grid cells have more similar spatial firing phases than those further apart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1079-1090
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 3 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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