Dorsoventral Hippocampus: Subregional Importance in Anxiety and Olfactory Learning and Memory

  • Christy S. S. WeedenEmail author


Evidence from several study techniques has provided substantial support to suggest that the hippocampus (HPP) plays an important role in learning and memory, which has been generally accepted by the scientific community. Dorsoventral lesion studies of the HPP, along with electrophysiological and other methods, have indicated that the dorsal axis of the HPP plays an important role in spatial processing and the ventral axis is important for anxiety as well as olfactory learning and memory. For example, evidence indicates that the hippocampal CA1 subregion is important in temporal learning and memory processes for spatial (dorsal) as well as olfactory (ventral) information. Studies have shown that the same dorsoventral relationship may hold for the CA3 subregion in pattern completion processes for odor information. Recent evidence has indicated parallel processing fidelity across the dorsoventral axis of the dentate gyrus (DG) for spatial and olfactory pattern separation. While there have been extensive investigations of spatial pattern completion, pattern separation, and temporal learning and an ever-increasing consensus on those processes, there have been far fewer reports and thus a lack of consensus for definitions of these parallel processes in regard to olfaction, with subregional anxiety processes being least understood. Further studies are necessary to understand how ventral subregions of the HPP contribute to learning and memory. Such research may yield increasing understanding of processes such as “odor pattern completion” and “anxiety-based pattern separation.”


Hippocampus Learning Dorsal Ventral Olfactory Anxiety Spatial 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section on NeuroplasticityNational Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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