The memory for time and space differentially engages the proximal and distal parts of the hippocampal subfields CA1 and CA3

by Zachery Beer, Peter Vavra, Erika Atucha, Katja Rentzing, Hans-Jochen Heinze, Magdalena M. Sauvage

A well-accepted model of episodic memory involves the processing of spatial and non-spatial information by segregated pathways and their association within the hippocampus. However, these pathways project to distinct proximodistal levels of the hippocampus. Moreover, spatial and non-spatial subnetworks segregated along this axis have been recently described using memory tasks with either a spatial or a non-spatial salient dimension. Here, we tested whether the concept of segregated subnetworks and the traditional model are reconcilable by studying whether activity within CA1 and CA3 remains segregated when both dimensions are salient, as is the case for episodes. Simultaneously, we investigated whether temporal or spatial information bound to objects recruits similar subnetworks as items or locations per se, respectively. To do so, we studied the correlations between brain activity and spatial and/or temporal discrimination ratios in proximal and distal CA1 and CA3 by detecting Arc RNA in mice. We report a robust proximodistal segregation in CA1 for temporal information processing and in both CA1 and CA3 for spatial information processing. Our results suggest that the traditional model of episodic memory and the concept of segregated networks are reconcilable, to a large extent and put forward distal CA1 as a possible “home” location for time cells.

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