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Hippocampus. 2018 Feb;28(2):69-75. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22818. Epub 2018 Jan 6.

Episodic autobiographical memory is associated with variation in the size of hippocampal subregions.

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VA Boston Healthcare System, 150 South Huntington Avenue Boston, Massachusetts, 02130.
Boston University School of Medicine, 72 E Concord St, Boston, Massachusetts, 02118.
Rotman Research Institute, 3560 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario, M6A 2E1, Canada.
McGill University, 845 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal, Quebec, H3A 0G4, Canada.
University of Toronto, 27 King's College Circle, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A1, Canada.
University of British Columbia, 2136 West Mall Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada.
Cornell University, 163 Human Ecology Building, Ithaca, New York, 14853.


Striking individual differences exist in the human capacity to recollect past events, yet, little is known about the neural correlates of such individual differences. Studies investigating hippocampal volume in relation to individual differences in laboratory measures of episodic memory in young adults suggest that whole hippocampal volume is unrelated (or even negatively associated) with episodic memory. However, anatomical and functional specialization across hippocampal subregions suggests that individual differences in episodic memory may be linked to particular hippocampal subregions, as opposed to whole hippocampal volume. Given that the DG/CA2/3 circuitry is thought to be especially critical for supporting episodic memory in humans, we predicted that the volume of this region would be associated with individual variability in episodic memory. This prediction was supported using high-resolution MRI of the hippocampal subfields and measures of real-world (autobiographical) episodic memory. In addition to the association with DG/CA2/3 , we further observed a relationship between episodic autobiographical memory and subiculum volume, whereas no association was observed with CA1 or with whole hippocampal volume. These findings provide insight into the possible neural substrates that mediate individual differences in real-world episodic remembering in humans.


episodic memory; hippocampal subfields; individual differences

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