Send to

Choose Destination
Hippocampus. 2007;17(12):1158-69.

The hippocampal indexing theory and episodic memory: updating the index.

Author information

WWAMI Medical Education Program, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-4207, USA.


A little over 20 years ago, (Teyler and DiScenna,1986; Behav Neurosci 100:147-152) proposed the hippocampal memory index theory. It offered an account of episodic memory based on the intrinsic organization of the hippocampus, its synaptic physiology and its anatomical relationship to other regions of the brain. The essence of their idea was that the hippocampus was functionally designed and anatomically situated to capture information about neocortical activity generated by the individual features of behavioral episode. Moreover, because the hippocampus projects back to these neocortical regions the information it stored could serve as an index to the pattern of neocortical activity produced by the episode. Consequently, a partial cue that activated the index could activate the neocortical patterns and thus retrieve the memory of the episode. In this article we revisit and update indexing theory. Our conclusion is that it has aged very well. Its core ideas can be seen in many contemporary theories and there is a wealth of data that support this conceptual framework.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center