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Behav Neurosci. 2008 Feb;122(1):16-26. doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.122.1.16.

The interactions and dissociations of the dorsal hippocampus subregions: how the dentate gyrus, CA3, and CA1 process spatial information.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84112, USA.


Several studies have demonstrated the significance of a spatial cognitive map and its role for guided and accurate navigation through the environment. Learning and recalling spatial knowledge depends upon proper topological and metric spatial information processing. The present objectives are to better characterize the role of the hippocampus for processing topological and metric spatial information. Rats with dorsal hippocampal subregional lesions (dDG, dCA3, dCA1) were tested on a previously established metric task and topological task. The results of the present study suggest that dCA1, but not dDG or dCA3, mediates topological memory. Furthermore, dDG, dCA3, and dCA1 mediate metric memory. Dorsal DG is required for spatial information processing via pattern separation or orthogonalization of sensory inputs to generate metric representations. Dorsal CA3 and dCA1 then receive these metric representations transmitted from dDG along the trisynaptic loop. The present data add to a growing body of literature suggesting a diversity of function among the hippocampal subregions.

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