The structure of hippocampal CA1 interactions optimizes spatial coding across experience

Michele Nardin, Jozsef Csicsvari, Gašper Tkačik, Cristina Savin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although much is known about how single neurons in the hippocampus represent an animal’s position, how circuit interactions contribute to spatial coding is less well understood. Using a novel statistical estimator and theoretical modeling, both developed in the framework of maximum entropy models, we reveal highly structured CA1 cell-cell interactions in male rats during open field exploration. The statistics of these interactions depend on whether the animal is in a familiar or novel environment. In both conditions the circuit interactions optimize the encoding of spatial information, but for regimes that differ in the informativeness of their spatial inputs. This structure facilitates linear decodability, making the information easy to read out by downstream circuits. Overall, our findings suggest that the efficient coding hypothesis is not only applicable to individual neuron properties in the sensory periphery, but also to neural interactions in the central brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8140-8156
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number48
StatePublished - Nov 29 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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