The Hippocampus and Context Revisited

Lynn Nadel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

45 Scopus citations


Despite the early consensus that the functions of the hippocampus were somehow related to context, there was little systematic empirical work exploring this idea until the 1990s. More recently, however, the critical role of context in understanding the basic functions of the hippocampus has become clearer. This chapter revisits ideas first promulgated over twenty years ago, and then suggests some new avenues of investigation that might bring us closer to understanding the role of the hippocampal system in mediating context. It attempts to clarify how the kind of contextual knowledge represented in hippocampal circuits is central to the construction of both the experienced past and the imagined future, thus shedding light on how episodic memory works, as well as the putative processes of memory "consolidation" and "reconsolidation".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHippocampal Place Fields
Subtitle of host publicationRelevance to Learning and Memory
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199869268
ISBN (Print)9780195323245
StatePublished - May 1 2008


  • Context
  • Episodic memory
  • Hippocampal circuits
  • Past
  • Present

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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