Pathway specific interventions reveal the multiple roles of ventral hippocampus projections in cognitive functions

Ioannis Bakoyiannis, Eva-Gunnel Ducourneau, Shauna L. Parkes, Guillaume Ferreira
Reviews in the Neurosciences. 2023-05-18; :
DOI: 10.1515/revneuro-2023-0009

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Since the 1950s study of Scoville and Milner on the case H.M., the hippocampus has attracted neuroscientists’ attention. The hippocampus has been traditionally divided into dorsal and ventral parts, each of which projects to different brain structures and mediates various functions. Despite a predominant interest in its dorsal part in animal models, especially regarding episodic-like and spatial cognition, recent data highlight the role of the ventral hippocampus (vHPC), as the main hippocampal output, in cognitive processes. Here, we review recent studies conducted in rodents that have used advanced in vivo functional techniques to specifically monitor and manipulate vHPC efferent pathways and delineate the roles of these specific projections in learning and memory processes. Results highlight that vHPC projections to basal amygdala are implicated in emotional memory, to nucleus accumbens in social memory and instrumental actions and to prefrontal cortex in all the above as well as in object-based memory. Some of these hippocampal projections also modulate feeding and anxiety-like behaviours providing further evidence that the “one pathway-one function” view is outdated and future directions are proposed to better understand the role of hippocampal pathways and shed further light on its connectivity and function.

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