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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2014 Oct;15(10):655-69. doi: 10.1038/nrn3785.

Functional organization of the hippocampal longitudinal axis.

Author information

1] Laboratory for Clinical Neuroscience, Centre for Biomedical Technology, Technical University of Madrid, Campus de Montegancedo, 28223 Pozuelo de Alarcón, Spain. [2] Department of Neuroimaging, Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre, Reina Sofia-CIEN Foundation, Calle Valderrebollo 5, 28071 Madrid, Spain.
Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Centre for the Biology of Memory, MTFS, Olav Kyrres gate 9, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NO-7489 Trondheim, Norway.
Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle, Washington 98103, USA.


The precise functional role of the hippocampus remains a topic of much debate. The dominant view is that the dorsal (or posterior) hippocampus is implicated in memory and spatial navigation and the ventral (or anterior) hippocampus mediates anxiety-related behaviours. However, this 'dichotomy view' may need revision. Gene expression studies demonstrate multiple functional domains along the hippocampal long axis, which often exhibit sharply demarcated borders. By contrast, anatomical studies and electrophysiological recordings in rodents suggest that the long axis is organized along a gradient. Together, these observations suggest a model in which functional long-axis gradients are superimposed on discrete functional domains. This model provides a potential framework to explain and test the multiple functions ascribed to the hippocampus.

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