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Cereb Cortex. 2014 Nov;24(11):3036-45. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bht160. Epub 2013 Jun 25.

Structural development of the hippocampus and episodic memory: developmental differences along the anterior/posterior axis.

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1
University of California, Davis, CA 95618, USA.

Abstract

The hippocampus is critically involved in episodic memory, yet relatively little is known about how the development of this structure contributes to the development of episodic memory during middle to late childhood. Previous research has inconsistently reported associations between hippocampal volume and episodic memory performance during this period. We argue that this inconsistency may be due to assessing the hippocampus as a whole, and propose to examine associations separately for subregions along the longitudinal axis of the hippocampus. In the present study, we examined age-related differences in volumes of the hippocampal head, body, and tail, and collected episodic memory measures in children ages 8-11 years and young adults (N = 62). We found that adults had a smaller right hippocampal head, larger hippocampal body bilaterally, and smaller right hippocampal tail compared with children. In adults, but not in children, better episodic memory performance was associated with smaller right hippocampal head and larger hippocampal body. In children, but not in adults, better episodic memory was associated with larger left hippocampal tail. Overall, the results suggest that protracted development of hippocampal subregions contribute to age-related differences in episodic memory.

KEYWORDS:

anterior; children; hippocampus; memory; posterior

PMID:
23800722
DOI:
10.1093/cercor/bht160
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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