Imaginary systems? Conceptualizing hippocampal function beyond memory

  • Lukas Alexander Leube Maastricht University
Keywords: Hippocampus, memory, spatial cognition, episodic prospection

Abstract

Viewing the hippocampus as a structure specifically dedicated to memory is no longer viable. However, functional characterization of its structure and its involvement in learning and memory is still necessary. This review argues that the hippocampus principally processes specific spatial contexts. It highlights the hippocampal involvement in thinking about the future, rather than the past by discussing its role in episodic prospection and navigational planning. Finally, it argues that the hippocampus might also process non-spatial information by representing its components in a pseudo-Euclidean memory space. 

References

Bendor, D., & Spiers, H. J. (2016). Does the hippocampus map out the future? Trends in cognitive sciences, 20(3), 167-169.

Brown, T. I., Carr, V. A., LaRocque, K. F., Favila, S. E., Gordon, A. M., Bowles, B., ... & Wagner, A. D. (2016). Prospective representation of navigational goals in the human hippocampus. Science, 352(6291), 1323-1326.

Cicero, M. T. (undated). De oratore, II, lxxxvi. Translation: Sutton, W. & Rackham, H. (1942). Harvard University Press.

Eichenbaum, H., & Cohen, N. J. (2014). Can we reconcile the declarative memory and spatial navigation views on hippocampal function? Neuron, 83(4), 764-770.

Gaffan, D. (2002). Against memory systems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 357(1424), 1111-1121.

Nadel, L., & Hardt, O. (2011). Update on memory systems and processes. Neuropsychopharmacology, 36(1), 251.

Schacter, D. L., Addis, D. R., & Szpunar, K. K. (2017). Escaping the past: Contributions of the hippocampus to future thinking and imagination. The hippocampus from cells to systems (pp. 439-465). Springer, Cham.

Wood, G., Willmes, K., Nuerk, H. C., & Fischer, M. H. (2008). On the cognitive link between space and number: a meta-analysis of the SNARC effect. Psychology Science.

Zeidman, P., & Maguire, E. A. (2016). Anterior hippocampus: the anatomy of perception, imagination and episodic memory. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 17(3), 173.

Published
2019-07-16
Section
Articles