The human hippocampus: structure, function and its significance in neuropsychology and disease

Richard A. Armstrong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

This article discusses the structure, anatomical connections, and functions of the hippocampus (HC) of the human brain and its significance in neuropsychology and disease. The HC is concerned with the analysis of highly abstract data derived from all sensory systems but its specific role remains controversial. Hence, there have been three major theories concerning its function, viz., the memory theory, the spatial theory, and the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) theory. The memory theory has its origin in the surgical destruction of the HC, which results in severe anterograde and partial retrograde amnesia. The spatial theory has its origin in the observation that neurons in the HC of animals show activity related to their location within the environment. By contrast, the behavioral inhibition theory suggests that the HC acts as a 'comparator', i.e., it compares current sensory events with expected or predicted events. If a set of expectations continues to be verified then no alteration of behavior occurs. If, however, a 'mismatch' is detected then the HC intervenes by initiating appropriate action by active inhibition of current motor programs and initiation of new data gathering. Understanding the anatomical connections of the hippocampus may lead to a greater understanding of memory, spatial orientation, and states of anxiety in humans. In addition, HC damage is a feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Pick's disease (PiD), and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and understanding HC function may help to explain the development of clinical dementia in these disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHorizons in neuroscience research
EditorsAndres Costa, Eugenio Villalba
Place of PublicationHauppauge, NY (US)
PublisherNova science
Pages43-64
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-63482-037-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-63482-022-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameHorizons in neuroscience research
PublisherNova
Volume17

Fingerprint

Neuropsychology
Hippocampus
Alzheimer Disease
Pick Disease of the Brain
Retrograde Amnesia
Lewy Body Disease
Systems Theory
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Dementia
Anxiety
Neurons

Keywords

  • hippocampus (HC)
  • septo-hippocampal system
  • behavioural inhibition theory
  • comparator
  • anxiety
  • neurodegenerative disease

Cite this

Armstrong, R. A. (2015). The human hippocampus: structure, function and its significance in neuropsychology and disease. In A. Costa, & E. Villalba (Eds.), Horizons in neuroscience research (pp. 43-64). (Horizons in neuroscience research; Vol. 17). Hauppauge, NY (US): Nova science.
Armstrong, Richard A. / The human hippocampus : structure, function and its significance in neuropsychology and disease. Horizons in neuroscience research. editor / Andres Costa ; Eugenio Villalba. Hauppauge, NY (US) : Nova science, 2015. pp. 43-64 (Horizons in neuroscience research).
@inbook{9c061ed479c6486da202ff5d7690f83f,
title = "The human hippocampus: structure, function and its significance in neuropsychology and disease",
abstract = "This article discusses the structure, anatomical connections, and functions of the hippocampus (HC) of the human brain and its significance in neuropsychology and disease. The HC is concerned with the analysis of highly abstract data derived from all sensory systems but its specific role remains controversial. Hence, there have been three major theories concerning its function, viz., the memory theory, the spatial theory, and the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) theory. The memory theory has its origin in the surgical destruction of the HC, which results in severe anterograde and partial retrograde amnesia. The spatial theory has its origin in the observation that neurons in the HC of animals show activity related to their location within the environment. By contrast, the behavioral inhibition theory suggests that the HC acts as a 'comparator', i.e., it compares current sensory events with expected or predicted events. If a set of expectations continues to be verified then no alteration of behavior occurs. If, however, a 'mismatch' is detected then the HC intervenes by initiating appropriate action by active inhibition of current motor programs and initiation of new data gathering. Understanding the anatomical connections of the hippocampus may lead to a greater understanding of memory, spatial orientation, and states of anxiety in humans. In addition, HC damage is a feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Pick's disease (PiD), and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and understanding HC function may help to explain the development of clinical dementia in these disorders.",
keywords = "hippocampus (HC), septo-hippocampal system, behavioural inhibition theory, comparator, anxiety, neurodegenerative disease",
author = "Armstrong, {Richard A.}",
year = "2015",
language = "English",
isbn = "978-1-63482-022-6",
series = "Horizons in neuroscience research",
publisher = "Nova science",
pages = "43--64",
editor = "Andres Costa and Eugenio Villalba",
booktitle = "Horizons in neuroscience research",

}

Armstrong, RA 2015, The human hippocampus: structure, function and its significance in neuropsychology and disease. in A Costa & E Villalba (eds), Horizons in neuroscience research. Horizons in neuroscience research, vol. 17, Nova science, Hauppauge, NY (US), pp. 43-64.

The human hippocampus : structure, function and its significance in neuropsychology and disease. / Armstrong, Richard A.

Horizons in neuroscience research. ed. / Andres Costa; Eugenio Villalba. Hauppauge, NY (US) : Nova science, 2015. p. 43-64 (Horizons in neuroscience research; Vol. 17).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

TY - CHAP

T1 - The human hippocampus

T2 - structure, function and its significance in neuropsychology and disease

AU - Armstrong, Richard A.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - This article discusses the structure, anatomical connections, and functions of the hippocampus (HC) of the human brain and its significance in neuropsychology and disease. The HC is concerned with the analysis of highly abstract data derived from all sensory systems but its specific role remains controversial. Hence, there have been three major theories concerning its function, viz., the memory theory, the spatial theory, and the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) theory. The memory theory has its origin in the surgical destruction of the HC, which results in severe anterograde and partial retrograde amnesia. The spatial theory has its origin in the observation that neurons in the HC of animals show activity related to their location within the environment. By contrast, the behavioral inhibition theory suggests that the HC acts as a 'comparator', i.e., it compares current sensory events with expected or predicted events. If a set of expectations continues to be verified then no alteration of behavior occurs. If, however, a 'mismatch' is detected then the HC intervenes by initiating appropriate action by active inhibition of current motor programs and initiation of new data gathering. Understanding the anatomical connections of the hippocampus may lead to a greater understanding of memory, spatial orientation, and states of anxiety in humans. In addition, HC damage is a feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Pick's disease (PiD), and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and understanding HC function may help to explain the development of clinical dementia in these disorders.

AB - This article discusses the structure, anatomical connections, and functions of the hippocampus (HC) of the human brain and its significance in neuropsychology and disease. The HC is concerned with the analysis of highly abstract data derived from all sensory systems but its specific role remains controversial. Hence, there have been three major theories concerning its function, viz., the memory theory, the spatial theory, and the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) theory. The memory theory has its origin in the surgical destruction of the HC, which results in severe anterograde and partial retrograde amnesia. The spatial theory has its origin in the observation that neurons in the HC of animals show activity related to their location within the environment. By contrast, the behavioral inhibition theory suggests that the HC acts as a 'comparator', i.e., it compares current sensory events with expected or predicted events. If a set of expectations continues to be verified then no alteration of behavior occurs. If, however, a 'mismatch' is detected then the HC intervenes by initiating appropriate action by active inhibition of current motor programs and initiation of new data gathering. Understanding the anatomical connections of the hippocampus may lead to a greater understanding of memory, spatial orientation, and states of anxiety in humans. In addition, HC damage is a feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Pick's disease (PiD), and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and understanding HC function may help to explain the development of clinical dementia in these disorders.

KW - hippocampus (HC)

KW - septo-hippocampal system

KW - behavioural inhibition theory

KW - comparator

KW - anxiety

KW - neurodegenerative disease

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84957036614&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Chapter (peer-reviewed)

AN - SCOPUS:84957036614

SN - 978-1-63482-022-6

T3 - Horizons in neuroscience research

SP - 43

EP - 64

BT - Horizons in neuroscience research

A2 - Costa, Andres

A2 - Villalba, Eugenio

PB - Nova science

CY - Hauppauge, NY (US)

ER -

Armstrong RA. The human hippocampus: structure, function and its significance in neuropsychology and disease. In Costa A, Villalba E, editors, Horizons in neuroscience research. Hauppauge, NY (US): Nova science. 2015. p. 43-64. (Horizons in neuroscience research).