Widespread Vestibular Activation of the Rodent Cortex

By April 15, 2015

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Ede A. Rancz Troy W. Margrie
J Neuroscience Acute Rat Cortex Penetrating Electrode A1x16-5mm100-413

Much of our understanding of the neuronal mechanisms of spatial navigation is derived from chronic recordings in rodents in which headdirection,
place, and grid cells have all been described. However, despite the proposed importance of self-reference information to these internal
representations of space, their congruence with vestibular signaling remains unclear. Here we have undertaken brain-wide functional mapping
using both fMRI and electrophysiological methods to directly determine the spatial extent, strength, and time course of vestibular signaling
across the rat forebrain.Wefind distributed activity throughout thalamic, limbic, and particularly primary sensory cortical areas in addition to
known head-direction pathways.Wealso observe activation of frontal regions, including infralimbic and cingulate cortices, indicating integration
of vestibular information throughout functionally diverse cortical regions. These whole-brain activitymapstherefore suggest a widespread
contribution of vestibular signaling to a self-centered framework for multimodal sensorimotor integration in support of movement planning,
execution, spatial navigation, and autonomic responses to gravito-inertial changes.

J Neurosci. 2015 Apr 15;35(15):5926-34. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1869-14.2015.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25878265 April 15, 2015 National Institute for Medical Research