Social and novel contexts modify hippocampal CA2 representations of space

Nat Commun. 2016 Jan 25:7:10300. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10300.


The hippocampus supports a cognitive map of space and is critical for encoding declarative memory (who, what, when and where). Recent studies have implicated hippocampal subfield CA2 in social and contextual memory but how it does so remains unknown. Here we find that in adult male rats, presentation of a social stimulus (novel or familiar rat) or a novel object induces global remapping of place fields in CA2 with no effect on neuronal firing rate or immediate early gene expression. This remapping did not occur in CA1, suggesting this effect is specific for CA2. Thus, modification of existing spatial representations might be a potential mechanism by which CA2 encodes social and novel contextual information.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • CA2 Region, Hippocampal / physiology*
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Social Skills*
  • Space Perception