Anatomical Organization of the Parahippocampal-Hippocampal Network

Authors

  • MENNO P. WITTER,

    Corresponding author
    1. Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam, Research Institute Neurosciences, Vrije Universiteit, Department of Anatomy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • FLORIS G. WOUTERLOOD,

    1. Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam, Research Institute Neurosciences, Vrije Universiteit, Department of Anatomy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • PIETERKE A. NABER,

    1. Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam, Research Institute Neurosciences, Vrije Universiteit, Department of Anatomy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
    • b

      Currently at the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • THEO VAN HAEFTEN

    1. Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam, Research Institute Neurosciences, Vrije Universiteit, Department of Anatomy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author

Address for correspondence: M.P. Witter, Ph.D, Department of Anatomy, Vrije Universiteit, van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tel.: 31–20–4448048; fax: 31–20–4448054. e-mail: MP.Witter.Anat@med.vu.nl

Abstract

Abstract: The anatomical organization of the parahipppocampal-hippocampal network indicates that it consists of different parallel circuits. Considering the topographical distribution of sensory cortical inputs, the hypothesis is that the major parallel circuits carry functionally different information. These functionally different parallel routes reach different portions of the hippocampal network along the longitudinal axis of all fields as well as along the perpendicularly oriented transverse axis of CA1 and the subiculum. In the remaining fields of the hippocampal formation, that is, the dentate gyrus and CA2/CA3, separation along the transverse axis is not present. By contrast, here the functionally different pathways converge onto the same neuronal population. The entorhinal cortex holds a pivotal position among the cortices that make up the parahippocampal region. By way of the networks of the superficial and deep layers, it mediates, respectively, the input and output streams of the hippocampal formation. Moreover, the intrinsic entorhinal network, particularly the interconnections between the deep and superficial layers, may mediate the comparison of hippocampal input and output signals. As such, the entorhinal cortex may form part of a novelty detection network. In addition, the organization of the entorhinal-hippocampal network may facilitate the holding of information. Finally, the terminal organization of the presubicular input to the medial entorhinal cortex indicates that the interactions between the deep and superficial entorhinal layers may be influenced by this input.

Ancillary