The subiculum: a review of form, physiology and function.

Modified drawing of the neural circuitry of th...
Modified drawing of the neural circuitry of the rodent hippocampus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Take-home message: The subiculum was when we wrote this review (2001) and still is now a very under-investigated structure, especially when compared with research concentrated a synapse back in CA1. Anyway, I am sure this will change over time 😉


[Download the paper]


Prog Neurobiol. 2001 Jun;64(2):129-55.
The subiculum: a review of form, physiology and function.
O’Mara SM, Commins S, Anderson M, Gigg J.

We review the neuroanatomical, neurophysiological and functional properties of the mammalian subiculum in this paper. The subiculum is a pivotal structure positioned between the hippocampus proper and entorhinal and other cortices, as well as a range of subcortical structures. It is an under-investigated region that plays a key role in the mediation of hippocampal-cortical interaction. We argue that on neuroanatomical, physiological and functional grounds, the subiculum is properly part of the hippocampal formation, given its pivotal role in the hippocampal circuit. We suggest that the term “subicular complex” embraces a heterogenous range of distinct structures and this phrase does not connote a functionally or anatomically meaningful grouping of structures. The subiculum has a range of electrophysiological and functional properties which are quite distinct from its input areas; given the widespread set of cortical and subcortical areas with which it interacts, it is able to influence activity in quite disparate brain regions. The rules which govern the plasticity of synaptic transmission are not well-specified; it shares some properties in common with the hippocampus proper, but behaves quite differently in other respects. Equally, its functional properties are not well-understood, it plays an important but ill-defined role both in spatial navigation and in mnemonic processing. The important challenges for the future revolve around the theoretical specification of its unique contribution to hippocampal formation processing on the one hand, and the experimental investigation of the many open questions (anatomical, physiological, pharmacological, functional) regarding its properties, on the other.



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Author: Shane O'Mara

Neuroscientist, Psychologist, Writer