Retrosplenial Cortex and Long-Term Memory: Molecules to Behavior

Neural Plast. 2015:2015:414173. doi: 10.1155/2015/414173. Epub 2015 Aug 25.


The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) is reciprocally connected with the hippocampus and various parahippocampal cortical regions, suggesting that RSC is well-positioned to contribute to hippocampal-dependent memory. Consistent with this, substantial behavioral evidence indicates that RSC is essential for consolidating and/or retrieving contextual and spatial memories. In addition, there is growing evidence that RSC neurons undergo activity-dependent plastic changes during memory formation and retrieval. In this paper we review both the behavioral and cellular/molecular data and posit that the RSC has a particularly important role in the storage and retrieval of spatial and contextual memories perhaps due its involvement in binding together multiple cues in the environment. We identify remaining questions and avenues for future research that take advantage of emerging methods to selectively manipulate RSC neurons both spatially and temporally and to image the RSC in awake, behaving animals.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Extinction, Psychological
  • Humans
  • Memory, Long-Term / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / metabolism
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity