The hippocampus is one of the most thoroughly studied areas of the mammalian central nervous system. There are two main reasons for this. First, it has a distinctive and readily identifiable structure at both the gross and histological levels. A second reason for the interest in the hippocampus is that since the early 1950s, it has been recognized to play a fundamental role in some forms of learning and memory. This chapter discusses the general organization of the hippocampus, covering its neuronal elements, synaptic connections, physiological and pharmacological properties, neurotransmitter receptors, synaptic plasticity, dendritic properties, and functional operations.
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