Differential but complementary mnemonic functions of the hippocampus and subiculum

Neuron. 2004 May 13;42(3):465-76. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(04)00195-3.


In this study we describe how the hippocampus and subiculum act in concert to encode information in a spatial delayed-nonmatch-to-sample (DNMS) task. This encoding was functionally partitioned between neurons within subiculum and hippocampus to uniquely identify trial-specific information accounting for both spatial and temporal constraints on performance within and between trials. Encoding by subicular neurons in the task was normally accurate and specific, but only if delays were shorter than 15 s, whereas trial-specific information encoded by hippocampal neurons was subject to strong biases from prior trial sequences and was accessible only when delays exceeded 15 s. The two structures operated in a complementary manner to encode information correctly on 75% of all trials using the above strategies. The remaining 25% of trials were at risk due to inherent idiosyncrasies by which hippocampal and subicular neurons encoded information and became errors when the random sequence of trials conflicted with these constraints.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Time Factors