Talk:Boundary cell

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First of all - apologies for the long comment. I would normally just edit anonymously but I am wary of falling foul of NPOV guidelines.

I contributed to some of the theoretical work that led to the discovery of border cells (the prediction of Neil Burgess in 2000 which is mentioned without citation in the current version of the page). My understanding is that it could be regarded as problematic if I directly edited the page, so I have not done so (maybe an experienced editor can explain on my [User:HartleyTom|User Page]). Although these cells have not been as intensively studies as Place, Head Direction (which should be linked from this page) and Grid Cells, they are nonetheless an significant class of spatial cell reported in several publications and meriting much fuller coverage here.

These Border Cells/Boundary/Boundary Vector Cells are becoming increasingly important as their role in anchoring spatial representations in the hippocampal formation is becoming clearer. For example, work recently presented to the SfN conference in San Diego, from Tor Stensola and colleagues from the Moser lab shows that grid cells' firing fields are determined in part by properties of the environment, suggesting that geometric/visual inputs to the system are important as has already been established for place cells. There is other published work that similarly points to a role for such information. One slight problem for the wikipedia pages is that different authors have used different terms to refer to cells with very similar properties (essentially synonyms/sub-/supersets of one another), so a good wiki page will need to incorporate disambiguation of these terms. Border cell(s) already clashes with a page on Drosophila. Terms used include:

  • Boundary vector Cell
  • Border cell
  • Boundary cell

Although for some people working in the field these terms may carry some additional significance (e.g., relating to the particular region of the hippocampal formation where they are found, or to particular computational properties, real or predicted) these are likely to seem arcane to readers from outside the field, and the approach we have taken in the a recent review is to use the term "Boundary Cells".

The figure shows a subicular boundary cell (or BVC) as first described in Barry et al (2006) - this data is from more recent work by Sarah Stewart and Colin Lever.

Firing of a boundary cell recorded in rat subiculum in 1 x 1 metre square-walled box with 50cm-high walls. A 50cm-long barrier inserted into box elicits second field along north side of barrier in addition to original field along south wall. Left: Firing rate map, one of 5 colours in locational bin indicates spatially-smoothed firing rate in that bin (autoscaled to firing rate peak, dark blue: 0-20%; light blue: 20-40%; green: 40-60%; yellow: 60-80%; red: 80-100%. The peak firing rate is 14.2 Hz). Right: path taken by rat is shown in black, locations where spikes were recorded indicated by green squares.Data provided by Sarah Stewart and Colin Lever with permission. See Hartley et al (2014) and Stewart et al (2014) in Philosophical Transactions B, volume 369 for further information.

I would be happy to provide CC licensed images of the Hartley et al. 2000 model's predictions.

In any event here are some papers that are relevant to the article (and which could be cited in my view):

  • O'Keefe, J., & Burgess, N. (1996). Geometric determinants of the place fields of hippocampal neurons. Nature, 381(6581), 425-428.
  • Burgess, N., Jackson, A., Hartley, T., & O'Keefe, J. (2000). Predictions derived from modelling the hippocampal role in navigation. Biological cybernetics, 83(3), 301-312.
  • Hartley, T., Burgess, N., Lever, C., Cacucci, F., & O'Keefe, J. (2000). Modeling place fields in terms of the cortical inputs to the hippocampus. Hippocampus, 10(4), 369-379.
  • Barry, C., Lever, C., Hayman, R., Hartley, T., Burton, S., O'Keefe, J., Jeffery, K. & Burgess, Ν. (2006). The boundary vector cell model of place cell firing and spatial memory. Reviews in the Neurosciences, 17(1-2), 71-98.
  • Savelli, F., Yoganarasimha, D., & Knierim, J. J. (2008). Influence of boundary removal on the spatial representations of the medial entorhinal cortex. Hippocampus, 18(12), 1270-1282.
  • Solstad, T., Boccara, C. N., Kropff, E., Moser, M. B., & Moser, E. I. (2008). Representation of geometric borders in the entorhinal cortex. Science, 322(5909), 1865-1868.
  • Lever, C., Burton, S., Jeewajee, A., O'Keefe, J., & Burgess, N. (2009). Boundary vector cells in the subiculum of the hippocampal formation. The Journal of Neuroscience, 29(31), 9771-9777.
  • Boccara, C. N., Sargolini, F., Thoresen, V. H., Solstad, T., Witter, M. P., Moser, E. I., & Moser, M. B. (2010). Grid cells in pre-and parasubiculum. Nature neuroscience, 13(8), 987-994.

HartleyTom (talk) 16:31, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

It's not problematic for you to edit the page. It can be problematic when people edit articles solely for the purpose of advertising their own work, but clearly you wouldn't be doing that. As long as the material you add is supported by reputable published sources and reflects the mainstream of opinion, there is no reason at all for you not to edit. I've edited a number of articles about topics that I've worked on. Regards, Looie496 (talk) 16:33, 4 December 2013 (UTC) (Bill Skaggs)
Thanks for that helpful advice Looie496/Bill. I'd be happy to have a crack at making some changes, and I think others might be able to help. Note that there maybe some (very mild) controversy about what counts as a Border/Boundary/Boundary Vector Cell and who identified which first. I think they're all the same thing. The nomenclature used is somewhat confusing outside the field, so I propose that we use a neutral term "Boundary cell" for the main wikipedia article, and have that redirect from "Border cell (brain)" and "Boundary Vector Cell". I am not really sure how to go about this type of restructuring. Then if people really think it worthwhile the page could include a neutral section on the controversy/history although I feel this would be out of place for an encyclopedia myself. My own view is that the page should focus on the facts and cite all the above papers. Meanwhile I will move the image on to the page, and will start to address text issues in a few days if no one else is dealing with it.HartleyTom (talk) 16:54, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Structure is always the hardest part of working up an article, but the nice thing about Wikipedia is that if you try something and decide you don't like it, you can always change it. Regarding the controversy over names, unless one side is dominant in the literature the best thing to do is to explain the issue without taking sides. That's definitely not out of place in an encyclopedia article -- explaining the terminology is one of the most important functions of an article like this. If you need to choose a particular meaning in order to write clearly in the rest of the article, you can just say that you're doing that. Looie496 (talk) 17:10, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
OK. Is it best to first create a new page "Boundary cell" then request a redirect from this page (and from "Boundary vector cell")? Or should I edit this page, and somehow change the article title later? — Preceding unsigned comment added by HartleyTom (talkcontribs) 13:37, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
You can do that by using the "Move" tab at the top of the article to rename it. Doing that will leave the editing history intact, and will automatically create a redirect from the old name to the new name. Reversing a name change requires administrator action, though, so you should be reasonably confident that you actually want to do it before you make the change. Looie496 (talk) 16:30, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
OK I am going to make this change as a prelude to updating the page more fully. I am taking the wikipedia injunction to 'be bold' here. I recognise that other people may feel that either Border or Boundary Vector Cells might be a better term for these neurons, or that some of the properties associated with the different labels may be subtly different so that one or other label refers to a functional subset, superset or anatomically distinct class of neuron. I think that these details are potentially confusing to others outside the field and understanding will be improved from a clearer common label which is neutral with regard to the detailed distinctions in terms of tunings (near/far)/anatomical loci (entorhinal/subicular). I recommend that any future controversy is resolved by discussing this under the heading of "terminology" near the end of the page after discussion on this page. However, my own view is that extended discussion might be distracting or confusing in an encyclopedia. Looie496 (Bill Skaggs) is an expert on the hippocampal formation and a key contributor to the wikipedia neuroscience project and would be a good person to mediate any dispute that crops up. HartleyTom (talk) 18:05, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

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