The role of hippocampal subregions in detecting spatial novelty

Behav Neurosci. 2005 Feb;119(1):145-53. doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.119.1.145.


Previous literature suggests that the hippocampus subserves processes associated with the encoding of novel information. To investigate the role of different subregions of the hippocampus, the authors made neurotoxic lesions in different subregions of the dorsal hippocampus (i.e., CA1, dentate gyrus [DG], or CA3) of rats, followed by tests using a spontaneous object exploration paradigm. All lesion groups explored normally an object newly introduced in a familiar location. However, when some of the familiar objects were moved to novel locations, both DG and CA3 lesion groups were severely impaired in reexploring the displaced objects, whereas the CA1 lesion group was only mildly impaired in reexploration. The results suggest that the DG-CA3 network is essential in detecting novelty for spatial, but not for individual object, information.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition
  • Exploratory Behavior*
  • Hippocampus / injuries
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Space Perception*