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Uncovering a role for the dorsal hippocampal commissure in recognition memory

Postans, M, Parker, G D, Lundell, H, Ptito, M, Hamandi, K, Gray, W P ORCID:, Aggleton, J P ORCID:, Dyrby, T B, Jones, D. K. ORCID: and Winter, M 2020. Uncovering a role for the dorsal hippocampal commissure in recognition memory. Cerebral Cortex 30 (3) , pp. 1001-1015. 10.1093/cercor/bhz143

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The dorsal hippocampal commissure (DHC) is a white matter tract that provides interhemispheric connections between temporal lobe brain regions. Despite the importance of these regions for learning and memory, there is scant evidence of a role for the DHC in successful memory performance. We used diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) and white matter tractography to reconstruct the DHC in both humans (in vivo) and nonhuman primates (ex vivo). Across species, our findings demonstrate a close consistency between the known anatomy and tract reconstructions of the DHC. Anterograde tract-tracer techniques also highlighted the parahippocampal origins of DHC fibers in nonhuman primates. Finally, we derived diffusion tensor MRI metrics from the DHC in a large sample of human subjects to investigate whether interindividual variation in DHC microstructure is predictive of memory performance. The mean diffusivity of the DHC correlated with performance in a standardized recognition memory task, an effect that was not reproduced in a comparison commissure tract—the anterior commissure. These findings highlight a potential role for the DHC in recognition memory, and our tract reconstruction approach has the potential to generate further novel insights into the role of this previously understudied white matter tract in both health and disease.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 1047-3211
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 June 2019
Date of Acceptance: 31 May 2019
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2024 02:40

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