Evidence for an anterior-posterior differentiation in the human hippocampal formation revealed by meta-analytic parcellation of fMRI coordinate maps: focus on the subiculum

Neuroimage. 2015 Jun:113:44-60. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.02.069. Epub 2015 Mar 14.


Previous studies, predominantly in experimental animals, have suggested the presence of a differentiation of function across the hippocampal formation. In rodents, ventral regions are thought to be involved in emotional behavior while dorsal regions mediate cognitive or spatial processes. Using a combination of modeling the co-occurrence of significant activations across thousands of neuroimaging experiments and subsequent data-driven clustering of these data we were able to provide evidence of distinct subregions within a region corresponding to the human subiculum, a critical hub within the hippocampal formation. This connectivity-based model consists of a bilateral anterior region, as well as separate posterior and intermediate regions on each hemisphere. Functional connectivity assessed both by meta-analytic and resting fMRI approaches revealed that more anterior regions were more strongly connected to the default mode network, and more posterior regions were more strongly connected to 'task positive' regions. In addition, our analysis revealed that the anterior subregion was functionally connected to the ventral striatum, midbrain and amygdala, a circuit that is central to models of stress and motivated behavior. Analysis of a behavioral taxonomy provided evidence for a role for each subregion in mnemonic processing, as well as implication of the anterior subregion in emotional and visual processing and the right posterior subregion in reward processing. These findings lend support to models which posit anterior-posterior differentiation of function within the human hippocampal formation and complement other early steps toward a comparative (cross-species) model of the region.

Keywords: K-means clustering; Meta analytic connectivity modeling; Resting fMRI; Subiculum; fMRI.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Emotions / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Memory / physiology
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neuroimaging
  • Reward
  • Visual Perception / physiology