A dissociation of encoding and retrieval processes in the human hippocampus

Laura L. Eldridge, Stephen A. Engel, Michael M. Zeineh, Susan Y. Bookheimer, Barbara J. Knowlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

261 Scopus citations


The hippocampal formation performs two related but distinct memory functions: encoding of novel information and retrieval of episodes. Little evidence, however, resolves how these two processes are implemented within the same anatomical structure. Here we use high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that distinct subregions of the hippocampus are differentially involved in encoding and retrieval. We found that regions early in the hippocampal circuit (dentate gyrus and CA fields 2 and 3) were selectively active during episodic memory formation, whereas a region later in the circuit (the subiculum) was active during the recollection of the learning episode. Different components of the hippocampal circuit likely contribute to different degrees to the two basic memory functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3280-3286
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 30 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • CA3
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Recollection
  • Subiculum
  • fMRI


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