Bridging the gap between spatial and mnemonic views of the hippocampal formation

Hippocampus. 2015 Jun;25(6):713-8. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22444. Epub 2015 Apr 15.


While it has long been recognized that medial temporal lobe structures are important for memory formation, studies in rodents have also identified exquisite spatial representations in these regions in the form of place cells in the hippocampus and grid cells in the entorhinal cortex. Spatial representations entail neural activity that is observed when the rat is in a given physical location, and these representations are thought to form the basis of navigation via path integration. Recent studies in nonhuman primates have suggested that similar kinds of spatial representations can be identified, even in the absence of physical movement through an environment. Here, I will highlight some recent work that addresses similarities and differences between spatial responses as identified in rodents and primates. I will also discuss areas of opportunity for future research to further our understanding of the function of the hippocampal formation.

Keywords: entorhinal cortex; hippocampus; memory; monkey; navigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hippocampus / cytology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Spatial Behavior / physiology*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology