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Chapter 4.2 The primate hippocampus and episodic memory

Elsevier Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1016/s1569-7339(08)00223-3
  • Spatial View Neurons
  • Object–Place Memory
  • Macaque
  • Recall
  • Nonhuman Primate
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Neural Network Models Of Memory
  • Hippocampus
  • Computer Science


Abstract Humans can remember where in space they have seen an object. In this example of one-trial event or episodic memory, an association must be formed between an object and a place “out there,” and the place can be recalled with the object as a recall cue, or the object can be recalled with the place as a recall cue. Hippocampal spatial view neurons in primates provide allocentric representations of a view of space “out there.” The responses depend on where the monkey is looking; and can be updated by idiothetic (self-motion) inputs provided by eye movements when the view is hidden. In a room-based object–place memory task, some hippocampal neurons respond to the objects shown, some to the places viewed, and some to combinations of the places viewed and the objects present in those locations. In an object–place recall task when the location in space at which an object has been seen is recalled by the presentation of the object, some primate hippocampal neurons maintain their responding to the object recall cue in a delay period without the object being visible while the place is being recalled; and other neurons respond to the place being recalled. Other spatial view neurons form associations with the rewards present at particular locations in space. These findings and computational neuroscience neural network models of how the hippocampus could implement episodic memory help to show how the primate including human hippocampus is involved in episodic memory.

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