Multimodal Parcellations and Extensive Behavioral Profiling Tackling the Hippocampus Gradient

Plachti A, Eickhoff SB, Hoffstaedter F, Patil KR, Laird AR, Fox PT, Amunts K, Genon S, Cereb Cortex (2019).


The hippocampus displays a complex organization and function that is perturbed in many neuropathologies. Histological work revealed a complex arrangement of subfields along the medial-lateral and the ventral-dorsal dimension, which contrasts with the anterior-posterior functional differentiation. The variety of maps has raised the need for an integrative multimodal view. We applied connectivity-based parcellation to 1) intrinsic connectivity 2) task-based connectivity, and 3) structural covariance, as complementary windows into structural and functional differentiation of the hippocampus. Strikingly, while functional properties (i.e., intrinsic and task-based) revealed similar partitions dominated by an anterior-posterior organization, structural covariance exhibited a hybrid pattern reflecting both functional and cytoarchitectonic subdivision. Capitalizing on the consistency of functional parcellations, we defined robust functional maps at different levels of partitions, which are openly available for the scientific community. Our functional maps demonstrated a head-body and tail partition, subdivided along the anterior-posterior and medial-lateral axis. Behavioral profiling of these fine partitions based on activation data indicated an emotion-cognition gradient along the anterior-posterior axis and additionally suggested a self-world-centric gradient supporting the role of the hippocampus in the construction of abstract representations for spatial navigation and episodic memory.