Over the river, through the woods: cognitive maps in the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2016 Aug;17(8):513-23. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2016.56. Epub 2016 Jun 3.


The hippocampus and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) both have important roles in cognitive processes such as learning, memory and decision making. Nevertheless, research on the OFC and hippocampus has proceeded largely independently, and little consideration has been given to the importance of interactions between these structures. Here, evidence is reviewed that the hippocampus and OFC encode parallel, but interactive, cognitive 'maps' that capture complex relationships between cues, actions, outcomes and other features of the environment. A better understanding of the interactions between the OFC and hippocampus is important for understanding the neural bases of flexible, goal-directed decision making.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*