February 12, 2015

Brain’s GPS system influenced by shape of environment

(Feb.12, ’15)  Patterns created by the brain’s grid cells, which are believed to guide navigation, are modified by the shape of the environment, according to UCL researchers. This means grid patterns aren’t a universal metric for the brain’s GPS system to measure distance, as previously thought.

Grid cells in the brain appear to form an internal map of the local environment by signalling periodically to create a ‘grid-pattern’ that helps animals to navigate, even in the dark.