Contributions of the dorsal hippocampus and the dorsal subiculum to processing of idiothetic information and spatial memory

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2007 May;87(4):669-78. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2007.01.002. Epub 2007 Feb 21.


It is well established that the dorsal hippocampal formation is crucial for spatial memory in rats. However, little is known about the distinct functions of the dorsal hippocampus and the dorsal subiculum. To examine the role of the dorsal hippocampus and the dorsal subiculum, Long-Evans rats with excitotoxic lesions (NMDA) of the dorsal hippocampus (DH), the dorsal subiculum (DS), or both (DHDS), and controls were trained on a nonmatching-to-place task. Then, to identify the strategy used by each group, they were tested on the same task in the dark with the T-maze being rotated between the sample and the test runs. In the light, rats with combined lesions were impaired. In the dark, groups DH, DS, and controls performed near chance level except in trials without rotation, suggesting the use of a sense of direction. The same rats were trained on a radial-arm maze task. In the light, where proximal visual cues were accessible, combined lesions affected performance whereas in the dark, it was impaired by all lesions. This experiment demonstrated that the dorsal subiculum and the dorsal hippocampus play a crucial role in processing idiothetic information and/or in maintenance of this information in memory.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Problem Solving / physiology
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Spatial Behavior / physiology*