A non-spatial account of place and grid cells based on clustering models of concept learning

Robert M. Mok, Bradley C. Love

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Dec 04, 2018
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Received Date: 5th October 18

One view is that conceptual knowledge is organized as a “cognitive map” in the brain, using the circuitry in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) that supports spatial navigation. In contrast, we find that a domain-general learning algorithm explains key findings in both spatial and conceptual domains. When the clustering model is applied to spatial navigation tasks, so called place and grid cells emerge because of the relatively uniform sampling of possible inputs in these tasks. The same mechanism applied to conceptual tasks, where the overall space can be higher-dimensional and sampling sparser, leads to representations more aligned with human conceptual knowledge. Although the types of memory supported by the MTL are superficially dissimilar, the information processing steps appear shared.

Read in full at bioRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.


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