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Mankin, Emily A.; Thurley, Kay ORCID: 0000-0003-4857-1083; Chenani, Alireza; Haas, Olivia V.; Debs, Luca; Henke, Josephine; Galinato, Melissa; Leutgeb, Jill K.; Leutgeb, Stefan; Leibold, Christian ORCID: 0000-0002-4859-8000 (12. February 2019): The hippocampal code for space in Mongolian gerbils. In: Hippocampus: pp. 1-15
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Large parts of our knowledge about the physiology of the hippocampus in the intact brain are derived from studies in rats and mice. While many of those findings fit well to the limited data available from humans and primates, there are also marked differences, for example, in hippocampal oscillation frequencies and in the persistence of theta oscillations. To test whether the distinct sensory specializations of the visual and auditory system of primates play a key role in explaining these differences, we recorded basic hippocampal physiological properties in Mongolian gerbils, a rodent species with high visual acuity, and good low‐frequency hearing, similar to humans. We found that gerbils show only minor differences to rats regarding hippocampal place field activity, theta properties (frequency, persistence, phase precession, theta compression), and sharp wave ripple events. The only major difference between rats and gerbils was a considerably higher degree of head direction selectivity of gerbil place fields, which may be explained by their visual system being able to better resolve distant cues. Thus, differences in sensory specializations between rodent species only affect hippocampal circuit dynamics to a minor extent, which implies that differences to other mammalian lineages, such as bats and primates, cannot be solely explained by specialization in the auditory or visual system