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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2008, Article ID 658323, 12 pages
Review Article

Linking Cellular Mechanisms to Behavior: Entorhinal Persistent Spiking and Membrane Potential Oscillations May Underlie Path Integration, Grid Cell Firing, and Episodic Memory

Center for Memory and Brain, Department of Psychology and Program in Neuroscience, Boston University, 2 Cummington Sreet, Boston, MA 02215, USA

Received 11 January 2008; Accepted 14 May 2008

Academic Editor: Roland S.G. Jones

Copyright © 2008 Michael E. Hasselmo and Mark P. Brandon. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The entorhinal cortex plays an important role in spatial memory and episodic memory functions. These functions may result from cellular mechanisms for integration of the afferent input to entorhinal cortex. This article reviews physiological data on persistent spiking and membrane potential oscillations in entorhinal cortex then presents models showing how both these cellular mechanisms could contribute to properties observed during unit recording, including grid cell firing, and how they could underlie behavioural functions including path integration. The interaction of oscillations and persistent firing could contribute to encoding and retrieval of trajectories through space and time as a mechanism relevant to episodic memory.