November 3, 2020
SOCIAL PLACE CELLS
For social animals, such as bats and rats, tracking the position of a conspecific is important for social interactions such as observational learning. Much previous research has described how hippocampal place cells encode one’s own spatial location; however, the neuronal basis for encoding the position of another is unknown. Two new papers(Danjo et al., Omer et al.) identify so-called social place cells : neurons in the dorsal CA1 region (dCA1) of the hippocampus in bats and in rats that encode the position of an observed conspecific.
Danjo, T., Toyoizumi, T., and Fujisawa, S.(2018). Spatial representations of self and other in the hippocampus. Science 359,213–218. doi:10.1126/science.aao3898
Omer, D.B., Maimon, S.R., Las, L., and Ulanovsky, N. (2018). Social place-cells in the bat hippocampus. Science 359, 218–224. doi:10.1126/science.aao3474