Grid cells are abundant in layers 2 and 3 of the medial entorhinal cortex and exhibit hexagonal firing patterns as rodents navigate in open arenas. To investigate how grid cells are anatomically organized at microstructural level, we measured their calcium dynamics using cellular resolution two-photon imaging while mice navigated on virtual linear tracks. We found that the MEC exhibits a substantial degree of microstructural organization: grid cells, grid modules and grid phases all clustered. In particular, grid cells with similar phases form multiple clusters arranged in hexagonal patterns. The clustering raises the possibility that cells within the same functional cluster are more strongly connected than cells in different clusters. The micro-organization of phases is consistent with predictions of continuous attractor models of grid cell network.
Yi obtained her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Tsinghua University in China. During her Master study, she was focused on how TGF-β pathway is involved in pathogenesis and embryonic development. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Biological Chemistry with Dr. Richard Huganir at Johns Hopkins University, where she studied the different regulatory mechanisms for exocytosis of AMPA, GABAA, and NMDA receptors using imaging approaches. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. David Tank at Princeton University. Her main research is focused on the microstructure of grid cells in the medial entorhinal cortex using the microprism-based in vivo two-photon calcium imaging in mice navigating in virtual reality.
Neuroscience Special Seminar by the NYU-ECNU Institute of Brain and Cognitive Science at NYU Shanghai