Dissociating hippocampal subregions: double dissociation between dentate gyrus and CA1

Hippocampus. 2001;11(6):626-36. doi: 10.1002/hipo.1077.


This study presents a double dissociation between the dentate gyrus (DG) and CA1. Rats with either DG or CA1 lesions were tested on tasks requiring either spatial or spatial temporal order pattern separation. To assess spatial pattern separation, rats were trained to displace an object which covered a baited food-well. The rats were then allowed to choose between two identical objects: one covered the same well as the sample phase object (correct choice), and a second object covered a different unbaited well (incorrect choice). Spatial separations of 15-105 cm were used to separate the correct object from the incorrect object. To assess spatial temporal order pattern separation, rats were allowed to visit each arm of a radial eight-arm maze once in a randomly determined sequence. The rats were then presented with two arms and were required to choose the arm which occurred earliest in the sequence. The choice arms varied according to temporal separation (0, 2, 4, or 6) or the number of arms that occurred between the two choice arms in the sample phase sequence. On each task, once a preoperative criterion was reached, each rat was given either a DG, CA1, or control lesion and then retested. The results demonstrated that DG lesions resulted in a deficit on the spatial task but not the temporal task. In contrast, CA1 lesions resulted in a deficit on the temporal task but not the spatial task. Results suggest that the DG supports spatial pattern separation, whereas CA1 supports temporal pattern separation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Dentate Gyrus / pathology
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiology
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology
  • Memory / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*