Like most animals, the survival of fish depends on navigation in space. This capacity has been documented in behavioral studies that have revealed navigation strategies. However, little is known about how freely swimming fish represent space and locomotion in the brain to enable successful navigation. Using a wireless neural recording system, we measured the activity of single neurons in the goldfish lateral pallium, a brain region known to be involved in spatial memory and navigation, while the fish swam freely in a two-dimensional water tank. We found that cells in the lateral pallium of the goldfish encode the edges of the environment, the fish head direction, the fish swimming speed, and the fish swimming velocity-vector. This study sheds light on how information related to navigation is represented in the brain of fish and addresses the fundamental question of the neural basis of navigation in this group of vertebrates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas