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Living machinesA handbook of research in biomimetics and biohybrid systems$
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Tony J. Prescott, Nathan Lepora, and Paul F.M.J Verschure

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199674923.001.0001

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Spatial and episodic memory

Spatial and episodic memory

(p.271) Chapter 29 Spatial and episodic memory
Living machines

Uğur Murat Erdem

Nicholas Roy

John J. Leonard

Michael E. Hasselmo

Oxford University Press

The neuroscience of spatial memory is one of the most promising areas for developing biomimetic solutions to complex engineering challenges. Grid cells are neurons recorded in the medial entorhinal cortex that fire when rats are in an array of locations in the environment falling on the vertices of tightly packed equilateral triangles. Grid cells suggest an exciting new approach for enhancing robot simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) in changing environments and could provide a common map for situational awareness between human and robotic teammates. Current models of grid cells are well suited to robotics, as they utilize input from self-motion and sensory flow similar to inertial sensors and visual odometry in robots. Computational models, supported by in vivo neural activity data, demonstrate how grid cell representations could provide a substrate for goal-directed behavior using hierarchical forward planning that finds novel shortcut trajectories in changing environments.

Keywords:   navigation, path planning, grid cell, place cell, head direction cell, hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, SLAM, cognitive map

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