Chapter

Theories of Hippocampal Function

Morris Richard

in The Hippocampus Book

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195100273
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864133 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195100273.003.0013

Series: Oxford Neuroscience Series

Theories of Hippocampal Function

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This chapter considers a number of prominent theories of hippocampal function that have been developed from work on animals. Two theories have dominated research on hippocampal function over the past quarter century. The first is that it is involved in the formation of memories for everyday facts and events that can be consciously recalled—collectively called declarative memory. The other major theory emerging from observations first made during the recording of single-cell activity in freely moving rodents is the idea that it is involved in spatial memory and, more specifically, the formation of cognitive maps and their use in navigation through space. A range of alternative theories, particularly those built around how memory systems handle ambiguity, associative-relations, and context, are also discussed. The chapter concludes by zeroing in on the idea that neural activity in the hippocampal formation contributes to episodic memory.

Keywords: hippocampus; declarative memory; spatial memory; cognitive maps; ambiguity; associative-relations; context; episodic memory

Chapter.  111942 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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