The Neural Computations of Spatial Memory from Single Cells to Networks
Cox, Steven J.
Doctor of Philosophy
Studies of spatial memory provide valuable insight into more general mnemonic functions, for by observing the activity of cells such as place cells, one can follow a subject’s dynamic representation of a changing environment. I investigate how place cells resolve conflicting neuronal input signals by developing computational models that integrate synaptic inputs on two scales. First, I construct reduced models of morphologically accurate neurons that preserve neuronal structure and the spatial specificity of inputs. Second, I use a parallel implementation to examine the dynamics among a network of interconnected place cells. Both models elucidate possible roles for the inputs and mechanisms involved in spatial memory.