Experiment Module: Place Cells in the Mouse
A mouse is allowed to move about freely within an enclosed space while an electrode
records the activity of a place cell in one of its hippocampi. A video camera
records the mouseís movements so that its position can be correlated with the
activity of this neuron.
The images below show the activity patterns for
four successive sessions for (1) a normal mouse and (2) a mutant mouse whose Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent
kinase gene is constantly active (its activity cannot be modulated).
each session, each mouse is removed from the enclosure for a few moments and then
put back inside. In the normal mouse, the place cellís activity pattern is the
same in all four sessions (the cell is always active when the mouse goes to a
particular area in the enclosure). But in the mutant mouse, this is not the case.