WIN Seminar - Susan Bookheimer: The Uniquely Human Hippocampus: Evidence from Functional Imaging in Health and Disease

The human hippocampus is a highly conserved brain structure bearing close anatomical resemblance to that of the rat. Nonetheless, animal research into hippocampal function has focused primarily on neural populations coding memory for aspects of spatial navigation, while descriptions of human memory more often examine memory functions that are uniquely human, such as verbal and declarative memory for distinct learning episodes. This talk will present multi-modal, high-resolution studies of hippocampal structure, function and connectivity to address two questions: How can a structure so similar across species give rise to such uniquely human memory capabilities? Why is a structure so fundamental to our functioning as humans so vulnerable to damage throughout the lifespan?