With a second five years of K02 support, the PI wishes to continue his career with an emphasis on research. His areas of interest focus on the neurobiological mechanisms underlying spatial cognition and related forms of learning. In addition to relief from normal teaching, the award will also provide the PI the opportunity to learn several new techniques related to the proposed studies and his future plans. Experiments are proposed which will attempt to elucidate how spatial information is processed in the mammalian brain, with emphasis on the role of head direction (HD) cells previously identified and described by the PI. It is the PI's goal to determine how sensory information is transformed into a Ahigh level cognitive signal@ representing space.
In Aims 1 and 2, the PI will examine how the HD cell signal is generated.
In Aims 3 and 4, the role of vestibular inputs on HD firing will be examined.
Aim 5 will explore the role of GABAergic interneurons in defining the HD cells= firing patterns.
Aim 6 examines the types of cues HD cells used to maintain a stable tuning curve when the animal enters a novel environment, while Aim 7 focuses on the link between the HD cell and space-directed behaviors. Lastly, Aim 8 examines how HD cells respond to planes other than Earth horizontal. The results of these experiments will have implications for understanding how the brain processes spatial information, and since spatial processing deficits are characteristic of age-related cognitive impairments, to understand the nature of these impairments in humans.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research (K02)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IFCN-8 (01))
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Anderson, Kathleen C
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Dartmouth College
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Taube, Jeffrey S; Wang, Sarah S; Kim, Stanley Y et al. (2013) Updating of the spatial reference frame of head direction cells in response to locomotion in the vertical plane. J Neurophysiol 109:873-88
Taube, Jeffrey S (2010) Interspike interval analyses reveal irregular firing patterns at short, but not long, intervals in rat head direction cells. J Neurophysiol 104:1635-48
Calton, Jeffrey L; Turner, Carol S; Cyrenne, De-Laine M et al. (2008) Landmark control and updating of self-movement cues are largely maintained in head direction cells after lesions of the posterior parietal cortex. Behav Neurosci 122:827-40
Bassett, Joshua P; Tullman, Matthew L; Taube, Jeffrey S (2007) Lesions of the tegmentomammillary circuit in the head direction system disrupt the head direction signal in the anterior thalamus. J Neurosci 27:7564-77
Calton, Jeffrey L; Taube, Jeffrey S (2005) Degradation of head direction cell activity during inverted locomotion. J Neurosci 25:2420-8
Bassett, Joshua P; Zugaro, Michael B; Muir, Gary M et al. (2005) Passive movements of the head do not abolish anticipatory firing properties of head direction cells. J Neurophysiol 93:1304-16
Muir, Gary M; Taube, Jeffrey S (2004) Head direction cell activity and behavior in a navigation task requiring a cognitive mapping strategy. Behav Brain Res 153:249-53
Taube, Jeffrey S; Stackman, Robert W; Calton, Jeffrey L et al. (2004) Rat head direction cell responses in zero-gravity parabolic flight. J Neurophysiol 92:2887-997
Stackman, Robert W; Golob, Edward J; Bassett, Joshua P et al. (2003) Passive transport disrupts directional path integration by rat head direction cells. J Neurophysiol 90:2862-74
Taube, Jeffrey S; Bassett, Joshua P (2003) Persistent neural activity in head direction cells. Cereb Cortex 13:1162-72

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