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Anna Smith

My research focuses on neural mechanisms of navigation in rodents

Dr Anna Smith

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

  • 1 George Square
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JZ

Contact details

Personal profile

  • 2012-2016 PhD Neuroscience, University of Bristol, School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience. Thesis title: The role of histone acetylation in recognition memory. Supervisors: Prof Clea Warburton & Prof James Uney.


head direction cell

My research focuses on neural mechanisms of navigation in rodents. Neurons in areas such as the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) and subiculum change their activity in response to various environmental and egocentric conditions. For example, head direction (HD) cells become active in response to the direction an animal is facing in an environment, while border cells become active along environmental borders such as walls and edges. I am interested in how the activity of these cells can contribute to the disambiguation of visually similar environments. I am addressing this question by recording the activity of these cells in different environments to study their responses to borders and head direction. I am also conducting behavioural experiments to test whether HD cells are required for animals to distinguish between visually similar environments. 

Recent publications

  • Scott, H., Smith, A.E., Barker, G.R.I., Uney, J.B., Warburton E.C. (2017) Contrasting roles for DNA methyltransferases and histone deacetylases in single-item and associative recognition memory. Neuroepigenetics 9:1-9. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepig.2017.02.001