Collaboration between MBI and Mechanical Engineering Labs Publish Landmark Study in Nature

The Knierim Lab of MBI and the LIMBS Lab of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (N. Cowan, PI) published a study in the journal Nature that showed how the brain translates movement information (e.g., speed and direction) into a position signal on the brain’s “cognitive map.” By placing rats in an augmented reality environment, lead authors Ravi Jayakumar of LIMBS and Manu Madhav of MBI, in collaboration with Francesco Savelli of MBI and T. Blair of UCLA, showed that manipulating the rat’s perceived speed of movement relative to spatial landmarks caused a recalibration of the brain’s “path integration” system.  This study provided the first physiological demonstration that the path integration system has a variable gain that is readily modifiable through experience.

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