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The Hippocampus Book$
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Per Andersen, Richard Morris, David Amaral, Tim Bliss, and John O'Keefe

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195100273

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195100273.001.0001

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Theories of Hippocampal Function

Theories of Hippocampal Function

Chapter:
(p.581) 13 Theories of Hippocampal Function
Source:
The Hippocampus Book
Author(s):

Morris Richard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195100273.003.0013

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

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