From Psy3241

The hippocampus is the medial part of the left temporal lobe. The hippocampus, like many other parts of the brain, got its name from its shape which looks like a seahorse. The etiology is Greek from the words hippos (horse) and kampos (a sea monster). Image:Amygdala hippocampus lateral large.jpg

Importance of the Hippocampus

The hippocampus has many functions. First, the hippocampus is very influential in memory. According to Stirling, the hippocampus is important on the formation of new explicit- declarative long term memories, a process called consolidation(139). Also, in the Bechara article that we read, researchers found that it also aids in the establishment of declarative knowledge. The participant with bilateral damage hippocampus didn’t acquire the declarative facts about which visual or auditory stimuli were paired with the unconditioned stimulus but did acquire conditioned autonomic responses to visual or auditory stimuli. Finally, the hippocampus is also important in navigation. In a study that was mentioned in class, the hippocampus of taxi drivers in London was bigger than bus drivers in London. This suggests that because the taxi drivers’ job utilizes more navigation than a bus driver with a stagnant route, these demands have had an impact on their hippocampus.

The function of the hippocampus was widely unknown until its destruction in the brain of H.M. in 1953. Following H.M.'s operation, his inability to form new memories prompted further study, greatly enhancing knowledge of human memory systems.


Stirling, John. Introducing Neuropsychology.

Hippocampus. http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3757

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