Skip to main content
Log in

Hippocampal function in cognition

  • Review
  • Published:
Psychopharmacology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Rationale and objectives

Any consideration of cognitive disruption in schizophrenia quite naturally leads to questions concerning the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying normal cognition. This review will describe emerging models for the cellular basis of cognitive processing in the hippocampus.

Methods and results

This review will describe results from several laboratories that have used in vivo recording in behaving rodents to probe the role of the hippocampus in cognition. These exciting studies have indicated a broader role of the hippocampus in general information processing than was previously appreciated. These recent results suggest that the hippocampus is involved in minute-to-minute cognitive processing including spatial information processing, temporal sequencing, and formulating the relationships between objects in the environment.

Conclusions

The hippocampus appears to play a major role in bringing together environmental signals and producing a cohesive and unified percept in the spatial and temporal domains. This new view of the role of the hippocampus in cognition fits strikingly well with models for schizophrenia hypothesizing hippocampal dysfunction as one cause of cognitive decline in schizophrenic patients.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Agster KL, Fortin NJ, Eichenbaum H (2002) The hippocampus and disambiguation of overlapping sequences. J Neurosci 22:5760–5768

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Burwell RD, Amaral DG (1998) The cortical afferents of the perirhinal, postrhinal, and entorhinal cortices of the rat. J Comp Neurol 398:179–205

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Clark RE, Squire LR (1998) Classical conditioning and brain systems: the role of awareness. Science 280:77–81

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Corkin S, Amaral DG, Gonzalez RG, Johnson KA, Hyman BT (1997) H. M.’s medial temporal lobe lesion: findings from magnetic resonance imaging. J Neurosci 17:3964–3979

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Eichenbaum H, Cohen NJ (2001) From conditioning to conscious recollection: memory systems of the brain. Oxford University, Upper Saddle River, NJ

    Google Scholar 

  • Fortin NJ, Agster KL, Eichenbaum HB (2002) Critical role of the hippocampus in memory for sequences of events. Nat Neurosci 5:458–462

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hetherington PA, Shapiro ML (1997) Hippocampal place fields are altered by the removal of single visual cues in a distance-dependent manner. Behav Neurosci 111:20–34

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, Jessell TM (1995) Essentials of neural science and behavior. Appleton and Lange, Norwalk

  • Lavenex P, Amaral DG (2000) Hippocampal–neocortical interaction: a hierarchy of associativity. Hippocampus 10:420–430

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Martin SJ, Morris RG (2002) New life in an old idea: the synaptic plasticity and memory hypothesis revisited. Hippocampus 12:609–636

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • McEchron MD, Disterhoft JF (1997) Sequence of single neuron changes in CA1 hippocampus of rabbits during acquisition of trace eyeblink conditioned responses. J Neurophysiol 78:1030–1044

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • McEchron MD, Weible AP, Disterhoft JF (2001) Aging and learning-specific changes in single-neuron activity in CA1 hippocampus during rabbit trace eyeblink conditioning. J Neurophysiol 86:1839–1857

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • McEchron MD, Tseng W, Disterhoft JF (2003) Single neurons in CA1 hippocampus encode trace interval duration during trace heart rate (fear) conditioning in rabbit. J Neurosci 23:1535–1547

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • McGaugh JL (2000) Memory—a century of consolidation. Science 287:248–251

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Milner B, Squire LR, Kandel ER (1998) Cognitive neuroscience and the study of memory. Neuron 20:445–468

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • O’Keefe J, Dostrovsky J (1971) The hippocampus as a spatial map. Preliminary evidence from unit activity in the freely-moving rat. Brain Res 34:171–175

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Power JM, Thompson LT, Moyer JR Jr, Disterhoft JF (1997) Enhanced synaptic transmission in CA1 hippocampus after eyeblink conditioning. J Neurophysiol 78:1184–1187

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Schendan HE, Searl MM, Melrose RJ, Stern CE (2003) An FMRI study of the role of the medial temporal lobe in implicit and explicit sequence learning. Neuron 37:1013–1025

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Squire LR, Kandel ER (1999) Memory: from mind to molecules. Scientific American Library, New York

  • Squire LR, Zola-Morgan S (1991) The medial temporal lobe memory system. Science 253:1380–1386

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Squire LR, Bloom FE, McConnell SK, Roberts JL, Spitzer NC, Zigmond MJ (2002) Fundamental neuroscience, 2nd edn. Academic Press, San Diego

  • Swanson LW (1981) A direct projection from Ammon’s horn to prefrontal cortex in the rat. Brain Res 217:150–154

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Sweatt JD (2001) The neuronal MAP kinase cascade: a biochemical signal integration system subserving synaptic plasticity and memory. J Neurochem 76:1–10

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Sweatt JD (2003) Mechanisms of memory, 1st edn. Academic Press, San Diego

  • Tanila H, Shapiro ML, Eichenbaum H (1997a) Discordance of spatial representation in ensembles of hippocampal place cells. Hippocampus 7:613–623

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Tanila H, Sipila P, Shapiro M, Eichenbaum H (1997b) Brain aging: impaired coding of novel environmental cues. J Neurosci 17:5167–5174

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Wood ER, Dudchenko PA, Eichenbaum H (1999) The global record of memory in hippocampal neuronal activity. Nature 397:613–616

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

Supported by the NIMH, NINDS, and the American Health Assistance Foundation.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to J. David Sweatt.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sweatt, J.D. Hippocampal function in cognition. Psychopharmacology 174, 99–110 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-004-1795-9

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-004-1795-9

Keywords

Navigation