Distinct speed dependence of entorhinal island and ocean cells, including respective grid cells

Chen Sun, Takashi Kitamura, Jun Yamamoto, Jared Martin, Michele Pignatelli, Lacey J. Kitch, Mark J. Schnitzer, Susumu Tonegawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Entorhinal-hippocampal circuits in the mammalian brain are crucial for an animal's spatial and episodic experience, but the neural basis for different spatial computations remain unknown. Medial entorhinal cortex layer II contains pyramidal island and stellate ocean cells. Here, we performed cell type-specific Ca2+ imaging in freely exploring mice using cellular markers and a miniature head-mounted fluorescence microscope. We found that both oceans and islands contain grid cells in similar proportions, but island cell activity, including activity in a proportion of grid cells, is significantly more speed modulated than ocean cell activity. We speculate that this differential property reflects island cells' and ocean cells' contribution to different downstream functions: island cells may contribute more to spatial path integration, whereas ocean cells may facilitate contextual representation in downstream circuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9466-9471
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 28 2015


  • Calcium imaging
  • Entorhinal
  • Grid cell
  • Hippocampus
  • Speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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