A triple dissociation of memory systems: hippocampus, amygdala, and dorsal striatum

Behav Neurosci. 1993 Feb;107(1):3-22. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.107.1.3.


This study investigated the respective roles of the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the dorsal striatum in learning and memory. A standard set of experimental conditions for studying the effects of lesions to the three brain areas using an 8-arm radial maze was used: a win-shift version, a conditioned cue preference (CCP) version, and a win-stay version. Damage to the hippocampal system impaired acquisition of the win-shift task but not the CCP or win-stay tasks. Damage to the lateral amygdala impaired acquisition of the CCP task but not the win-shift or win-stay tasks. Damage to the dorsal striatum impaired acquisition of the win-stay task but not the win-shift or CCP tasks. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the mammalian brain may be capable of acquiring different kinds of information with different, more-or-less independent neural systems. A neural system that includes the hippocampus may acquire information about the relationships among stimuli and events. A neural system that includes the amygdala may mediate the rapid acquisition of behaviors based on biologically significant events with affective properties. A neural system that includes the dorsal striatum may mediate the formation of reinforced stimulus-response associations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Appetitive Behavior / physiology
  • Association Learning / physiology
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Corpus Striatum / physiology*
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Motivation
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Problem Solving / physiology
  • Rats
  • Retention, Psychology / physiology*