Space,Time and Memory in the Hippocampal Formation

pp 55-81


Perirhinal and Postrhinal Functional Inputs to the Hippocampus

  • Jonathan W. HoAffiliated withDepartment of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences, Brown University
  • , Rebecca D. BurwellAffiliated withDepartment of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences, Brown University Email author 

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There is widespread agreement that perirhinal (PER) and postrhinal (POR) cortices are essential for episodic memory. The conventional view is that PER provides object information, and POR provides spatial and contextual information to the hippocampus through different information streams to support episodic memory. There is, however, considerable integration across these two information streams. Moreover, PER and POR also participate in non-mnemonic cognitive processes. PER is necessary for object recognition memory and is involved in high-level perceptual processing that conjoins elemental features to represent unique objects and items. POR represents the spatial layout of the current context, including objects and patterns located in that context, and then monitors the context for changes. Such object and pattern information in POR most likely arrives via a direct PER to POR pathway. Thus, the PER provides object information to both the POR and to the hippocampus, but for different purposes. Object information in POR would be used to represent and update the spatial layout of physical features of the local environment and for forming contextual associations. Such contextual information from the POR together with object and item information from the PER are made available to the hippocampus for associative learning and episodic memory.