Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Document Actions

John E Lisman and Anthony A Grace (2005)

The hippocampal-VTA loop: controlling the entry of information into long-term memory.

Neuron, 46(5):703-713.

In this article we develop the concept that the hippocampus and the midbrain dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) form a functional loop. Activation of the loop begins when the hippocampus detects newly arrived information that is not already stored in its long-term memory. The resulting novelty signal is conveyed through the subiculum, accumbens, and ventral pallidum to the VTA where it contributes (along with salience and goal information) to the novelty-dependent firing of these cells. In the upward arm of the loop, dopamine (DA) is released within the hippocampus; this produces an enhancement of LTP and learning. These findings support a model whereby the hippocampal-VTA loop regulates the entry of information into long-term memory.
Animals; Hippocampus; Humans; Memory; Nerve Net; Time Factors; Ventral Tegmental Area
Relevant for: WP5 intrinsic/extrinsic motivations. Role of hippocampus in detecting novel complex patterns and in triggering corresponding dopamine reward signals, e.g. to let hippocampus itself to store the new patterns. This mechanisms might be complementary to those proposed by Redgrave, P. and Gurney, K. (2006). `The short-latency dopamine signal: a role in discovering novel actions?' Nature Reviews Neuroscience 7(12):967-975, based on superior colliculus and novelty detection of simple patterns (e.g., sudden light).