Rats and mice have been demonstrated to show episodic-like memory, a prototype of episodic memory, as defined by an integrated memory of the experience of an object or event, in a particular place and time. Such memory can be assessed via the use of spontaneous object exploration paradigms, variably designed to measure memory for object, place, temporal order and object-location inter-relationships. We review the methodological properties of these tests, the neurobiology about time and discuss the evidence for the involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), entorhinal cortex (EC) and hippocampus, with respect to their anatomy, neurotransmitter systems and functional circuits. The systematic analysis suggests that a specific circuit between the mPFC, lateral EC and hippocampus encodes the information for event, place and time of occurrence into the complex episodic-like memory, as a top-down regulation from the mPFC onto the hippocampus. This circuit can be distinguished from the neuronal component memory systems for processing the individual information of object, time and place.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge funding by a Heisenberg Fellowship and grant from the DFG (SO 1032/5-2 and SO 1032/2-5) to MAdSS , grant from the DFG (HU 306/27-3) to JPH , start-up funding from University of Minnesota Medical School and University of Minnesota Foundation to YMY , and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders And Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant R15NS112964 to YMY.
- Entorhinal cortex
- Episodic memory
- Object recognition
- Prefrontal cortex