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Anterior hippocampus: the anatomy of perception, imagination and episodic memory

Abstract

The brain creates a model of the world around us. We can use this representation to perceive and comprehend what we see at any given moment, but also to vividly re-experience scenes from our past and imagine future (or even fanciful) scenarios. Recent work has shown that these cognitive functions — perception, imagination and recall of scenes and events — all engage the anterior hippocampus. In this Opinion article, we capitalize on new findings from functional neuroimaging to propose a model that links high-level cognitive functions to specific structures within the anterior hippocampus.

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Figure 1: Anatomy of the anterior hippocampus.
Figure 2: Activation of the anterior medial hippocampus during fMRI.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are supported by The Wellcome Trust. The authors thank J. Ekanayake for helpful discussions about vasculature.

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Zeidman, P., Maguire, E. Anterior hippocampus: the anatomy of perception, imagination and episodic memory. Nat Rev Neurosci 17, 173–182 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn.2015.24

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