High Fidelity Theta Phase Rolling of CA1 NeuronsDOI
Single hippocampal cells encode the spatial position of an animal by increasing their firing rates within “place fields,” and by shifting the phase of their spikes to earlier phases of the ongoing theta oscillations (theta phase precession). Whether other forms of spatial phase changes exist in the hippocampus is unknown. Here, we used high-density electrophysiological recordings in mice of either sex running back and forth on a 150-cm linear track. We found that the instantaneous phase of spikes shifts to progressively later theta phases as the animal traverses the place field. We term this shift theta “phase rolling.” Phase rolling is opposite in direction to precession, faster than precession, and occurs between distinct theta cycles. Place fields that exhibit phase rolling are larger than nonrolling fields, and in-field spikes occur in distinct theta phases in rolling compared with nonrolling fields. As a phase change associated with position, theta phase rolling may be used to encode space.