Neuronal firing in the hippocampal formation (HF) of freely moving rodents shows striking examples of spatialorganization in the form of place, directional, boundary vector and grid cells. The firing of place and grid cells shows an intriguing form of temporal organization known as 'theta phase precession'. We review the mechanisms underlying theta phase precession of place cell firing, ranging from membrane potential oscillations to recurrent connectivity, and the relevant intra-cellular and extra-cellular data. We then consider the use of these models to explain the spatial structure of grid cell firing, and review the relevant intra-cellular and extra-cellular data. Finally, we consider the likely interaction between place cells, grid cells and boundary vector cells in estimating self-location as a compromise between path-integration and environmental information. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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