Goal-oriented representations in the human hippocampus during planning and navigation

Published version
Repository DOI

Change log
Crivelli-Decker, Jordan 
Clarke, Alexander 
Park, Seongmin 
Huffman, Derek 
Boorman, Erie 

Recent work in cognitive and systems neuroscience has suggested that the hippocampus might support planning, imagination, and navigation by forming cognitive maps that capture the abstract structure of physical spaces, tasks, and situations. Navigation involves disambiguating similar contexts, and the planning and execution of a sequence of decisions to reach a goal. Here, we examine hippocampal activity patterns in humans during a goal-directed navigation task to investigate how contextual and goal information are incorporated in the construction and execution of navigational plans. During planning, hippocampal pattern similarity is enhanced across routes that share a context and a goal. During navigation, we observe prospective activation in the hippocampus that reflects the retrieval of pattern information related to a key-decision point. These results suggest that, rather than simply representing overlapping associations or state transitions, hippocampal activity patterns are shaped by context and goals.

5202 Biological Psychology, 46 Information and Computing Sciences, 52 Psychology, Behavioral and Social Science, Neurosciences, Basic Behavioral and Social Science, Clinical Research, 1.2 Psychological and socioeconomic processes, 1 Underpinning research, 1.1 Normal biological development and functioning, Mental health
Journal Title
Nature Communications
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Nature Research
Wellcome Trust (211200/Z/18/Z)