The head direction cell network: attractor dynamics, integration within the navigation system, and three-dimensional properties

Dora E. Angelaki, Jean Laurens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Knowledge of head direction cell function has progressed remarkably in recent years. The predominant theory that they form an attractor has been confirmed by several experiments. Candidate pathways that may convey visual input have been identified. The pre-subicular circuitry that conveys head direction signals to the medial entorhinal cortex, potentially sustaining path integration by grid cells, has been resolved. Although the neuronal substrate of the attractor remains unknown in mammals, a simple head direction network, whose structure is astoundingly similar to neuronal models theorized decades earlier, has been identified in insects. Finally, recent experiments have revealed that these cells do not encode head direction in the horizontal plane only, but also in vertical planes, thus providing a 3D orientation signal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Volume60
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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