Prefrontal-hippocampal interactions in episodic memory

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2017 Sep;18(9):547-558. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2017.74. Epub 2017 Jun 29.


The roles of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) in memory processing - individually or in concert - are a major topic of interest in memory research. These brain areas have distinct and complementary roles in episodic memory, and their interactions are crucial for learning and remembering events. Considerable evidence indicates that the PFC and hippocampus become coupled via oscillatory synchrony that reflects bidirectional flow of information. Furthermore, newer studies have revealed specific mechanisms whereby neural representations in the PFC and hippocampus are mediated through direct connections or through intermediary regions. These findings suggest a model of how the hippocampus and PFC, along with their intermediaries, operate as a system that uses the current context of experience to retrieve relevant memories.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Memory, Episodic*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*