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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

January 2013, Vol. 25, No. 1, Pages 22-28
(doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_00313)
© 2012 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Spatial Cognition and the Hippocampus: The Anterior–Posterior Axis
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We discuss the question of differentiation along the anterior–posterior longitudinal axis of the hippocampus. Data from a recent fMRI study are reanalyzed to determine whether activations in these hippocampal regions are affected by the nature of the information being accessed during a scanning session in which participants thought about episodes from their lives. Retrieving detailed spatial relational information preferentially activated the posterior hippocampus, whereas retrieving information about locales (or contexts) preferentially activated the anterior hippocampus. These data support the view that there is functional differentiation along the longitudinal axis in humans that matches what has been seen in rats, namely, that the posterior (dorsal) hippocampus is crucial for precise spatial behavior, and the anterior (ventral) hippocampus is crucial for context coding.