Remembering goal locations


  • Poucet Bruno
  • Hok Vincent


  • Rat
  • Spatial navigation
  • Goal coding
  • Hippocampus
  • Frontal cortex

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Spatial navigation encompasses the capability to compute various paths leading to one's goal. In order to achieve such a feat, a navigation system must also have access to the animal’s current location. Although the latter is well documented with over forty years of research devoted to hippocampal place cells, how the goal location is coded and kept in memory is a much more debated issue. Here, we review evidence that such processing occurs within a small network of structures involving at the very least the hippocampus and the frontal cortex. Indeed, growing evidence suggests that path planning relies on a much more extended neural network, with each of its subcomponent assuring a specific role in the overall process. We suggest that understanding how goal location is remembered can only be achieved through a better characterization of the time-defined events during path planning at both neural and behavioral levels.

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