October 29, 2020

Sense of self impacts spatial navigation and hexadirectional coding in human entorhinal cortex

Grid cells in entorhinal cortex (EC) encode an individual’s location in space and rely on environmental cues and self-motion cues derived from the individual’s body. Body-derived signals are also primary signals for the sense of self as located in space (i.e. bodily self-consciousness, BSC). However, it is currently unknown whether BSC impacts grid cell activity and how such changes relate to experimental modulations of BSC. Integrating BSC with a spatial navigation task and an fMRI measure to detect grid cell-like representation (GCLR) in humans, we report a robust GCLR modulation in EC when participants navigated during an enhanced BSC state. These changes were further associated with improved spatial navigation performance and increased activity in posterior parietal and retrosplenial cortex. These data link entorhinal grid cell activity with BSC and show that BSC modulates ego- versus allocentric spatial processes about an individual’s location in space in a distributed spatial navigation system.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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