The entorhinal cortex (EC)-hippocampal (HPC) network plays an essential role for episodic memory, which preserves spatial and temporal information about the occurrence of past events. Although there has been significant progress toward understanding the neural circuits underlying the spatial dimension of episodic memory, the relevant circuits subserving the temporal dimension are just beginning to be understood. In this review, we examine the evidence concerning the role of the EC in associating events separated by time-or temporal associative learning-with emphasis on the function of persistent activity in the medial entorhinal cortex layer III (MECIII) and their direct inputs into the CA1 region of HPC. We also discuss the unique role of Island cells in the medial entorhinal cortex layer II (MECII), which is a newly discovered direct feedforward inhibitory circuit to CA1. Finally, we relate the function of these entorhinal cortical circuits to recent findings concerning hippocampal time cells, which may collectively activate in sequence to bridge temporal gaps between discontiguous events in an episode.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience