Anterior hippocampus: the anatomy of perception, imagination and episodic memory

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2016 Mar;17(3):173-82. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2015.24. Epub 2016 Feb 11.


The brain creates a model of the world around us. We can use this representation to perceive and comprehend what we see at any given moment, but also to vividly re-experience scenes from our past and imagine future (or even fanciful) scenarios. Recent work has shown that these cognitive functions--perception, imagination and recall of scenes and events--all engage the anterior hippocampus. In this Opinion article, we capitalize on new findings from functional neuroimaging to propose a model that links high-level cognitive functions to specific structures within the anterior hippocampus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Imagination / physiology*
  • Memory, Episodic*
  • Perception / physiology*