Authors : Ma Xiaoxiao and Hang Yizhou
Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore
Place cells are hippocampal neurons that fire at a high rate whenever the animal is in a specific location in the environment. In previous studies, the existence of place cells of rodents is widely proved. However, there are few researches regarding place cells found in human and non-human primates. To elucidate whether primates have place cells and how these cells work, we examined the macaques’ navigation behaviour and hippocampal activities as they searched a virtual reality maze for a reward. Through processing and analysing the data, our findings confirm the existence of place cells in non-human primates. This discovery sheds light on both the field of neuroscience and medicine, paving the way to understanding and even curing previously irreversible cognitive diseases.