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In humans, hippocampal function is generally recognized as supporting episodic memory, which is characterized by the organization of experience over time, whereas in rats, many believe that the hippocampus creates maps of the environment and supports spatial navigation. How do we reconcile the episodic memory and spatial mapping views of hippocampal function? Here I will discuss evidence that, during learning of what happens where, hippocampal place cells map the locations of events in their spatial context. In addition, I will describe recent findings that, during learning of what happens when map specific events within their temporal context. These findings support an emerging view that the hippocampus supports episodic memory by creating a “scaffolding” for the organization of events within their spatial and temporal context.


Howard Eichenbaum is a University Professor at Boston University, where he is also the Director of the Center for Memory and Brain, Director of the Center for Neuroscience, and Director of the Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience. Dr. Eichenbaum received his PhD in Psychology from the University of Michigan and also pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at M.I.T.

Read more about Howard Eichenbaum.



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