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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Journal of Neuroscience, Volume 38, Issue 13, September 2018, Pages 3265-3272.

The published version is available at . Copyright © Lee et al.


Environmental boundaries play a crucial role in spatial navigation and memory across a wide range of distantly related species. In rodents, boundary representations have been identified at the single-cell level in the subiculum and entorhinal cortex of the hippocampal formation. Although studies of hippocampal function and spatial behavior suggest that similar representations might exist in humans, boundary-related neural activity has not been identified electrophysiologically in humans until now. To address this gap in the literature, we analyzed intracranial recordings from the hippocampal formation of surgical epilepsy patients (of both sexes) while they performed a virtual spatial navigation task and compared the power in three frequency bands (1-4, 4-10, and 30-90 Hz) for target locations near and far from the environmental boundaries. Our results suggest that encoding locations near boundaries elicited stronger theta oscillations than for target locations near the center of the environment and that this difference cannot be explained by variables such as trial length, speed, movement, or performance. These findings provide direct evidence of boundary-dependent neural activity localized in humans to the subiculum, the homolog of the hippocampal subregion in which most boundary cells are found in rodents, and indicate that this system can represent attended locations that rather than the position of one's own body.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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