Investigating the functions of subregions within anterior hippocampus

Peter Zeidman, Antoine Lutti, Eleanor A. Maguire
2015 Cortex  
Previous functional MRI (fMRI) studies have associated anterior hippocampus with imagining and recalling scenes, imagining the future, recalling autobiographical memories and visual scene perception. We have observed that this typically involves the medial rather than the lateral portion of the anterior hippocampus. Here, we investigated which specific structures of the hippocampus underpin this observation. We had participants imagine novel scenes during fMRI scanning, as well as recall
more » ... sly learned scenes from two different time periods (one week and 30 min prior to scanning), with analogous single object conditions as baselines. Using an extended segmentation protocol focussing on anterior hippocampus, we first investigated which substructures of the hippocampus respond to scenes, and found both imagination and recall of scenes to be associated with activity in presubiculum/parasubiculum, a region associated with spatial representation in rodents. Next, we compared imagining novel scenes to recall from one week or 30 min before scanning. We expected a strong response to imagining novel scenes and 1-week recall, as both involve constructing scene representations from elements stored across cortex. By contrast, we expected a weaker response to 30-min recall, as representations of these scenes had already been constructed but not yet consolidated. Both imagination and 1-week recall of scenes engaged anterior hippocampal structures (anterior subiculum and uncus respectively), indicating possible roles in scene construction. By contrast, 30-min recall of scenes elicited significantly less activation of anterior hippocampus but did engage posterior CA3. Together, these results elucidate the functions of different parts of the anterior hippocampus, a key brain area about which little is definitely known.
doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2015.09.002 pmid:26478961 pmcid:PMC4686003 fatcat:4hty5rrlwzejxcw57j7orbrc3m