Representation of Space in the Hippocampus of Echolocating Bats

Hanging bats

    Bats have a well developed spatial memory. I am studying how spatial information is encoded in the activity of hippocampal neurons in freely moving echolocating bats of the species Eptesicus fuscus (big brown bats): Are there "place cells" like in rodent hippocampus, or perhaps "spatial view cells" like some researchers reported for monkey hippocampus? Is there a theta rhythm in freely-moving bats, analogous to the hippocampal theta rhythm in rodents? To address these questions, I am using a 4-tetrode microdrive and a multi-channel neurophysiology and video-tracking system (Neuralynx) to record the activity of well-isolated neurons in the CA1 area of bat hippocampus, while the bats perform a "mealworm chasing" task in an open-field arena.

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