The overlap of neural circuits involved in episodic memory, relational learning, trace conditioning, and interval timing suggests the importance of hippocampal-dependent processes. Identifying the functional and neural mechanisms whereby the hippocampus plays a role in timing and decision-making, however, has been elusive. In this article we describe recent neurobiological findings, including the discovery of hippocampal ‘time cells’, dependency of duration discriminations in the minutes range on hippocampal function, and the correlation of hippocampal theta rhythm with specific features of temporal processing. These results provide novel insights into the ways in which the hippocampus might interact with the striatum in order to support both retrospective and prospective timing. Suggestions are also provided for future research on the role of the hippocampus in memory for elapsed time.
ChengR. K.WilliamsC. L.MeckW. H. (2008).
Oscillatory bands, neuronal synchrony and hippocampal function: Implications of the effects of prenatal choline supplementation for sleep-dependent memory consolidation.
DeCoteauW. E.ThornC.GibsonD. J.CourtemancheR.MitraP.KubotaY.GraybielA. M. (2007a).
Learning-related coordination of striatal and hippocampal theta rhythms during acquisition of a procedural maze task.
Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA1045644–5649.
DeCoteauW. E.ThornC.GibsonD. J.CourtemancheR.MitraP.KubotaY.GraybielA. M. (2007b).
Oscillations of local field potentials in the rat dorsal striatum during spontaneous and instructed behaviors.
DzirasaK.PhillipsH. W.SotnikovaT. D.SalahpourA.KumarS.GainetdinovR. R.CaronM. G.NicolelisM. A. (2010).
Noradrenergic control of cortico-striato-thalamic and mesolimbic cross-structural synchrony.
FouquetC.BabayanB. M.WatilliauxA.BontempiB.TobinC.Rondi-ReigL. (2013).
Complementary roles of the hippocampus and the dorsomedial striatum during spatial and sequence-based navigation behavior.
HeilbronnerS. R.MeckW. H. (2013).
Dissociations between interval timing and intertemporal choice following administration of fluoxetine, cocaine, or methamphetamine.
Behav. Process. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2013.09.013
MacDonaldC. J.ChengR. K.MeckW. H. (2012).
Acquisition of “Start” and “Stop” response thresholds in peak-interval timing is differentially sensitive to protein synthesis inhibition in the dorsal and ventral striatum.
Front. Integr. Neurosci.610.
MacDonaldC. J.MeckW. H. (2003).
Cortico-striatal mechanisms of interval timing and bird song: Time flies and may also sing. In
MeckW. H. (Ed.)
Functional and Neural Mechanisms of Interval Timing (pp.
Boca Raton, FL, USA: CRC Press.
MaggiS.GarbuginoL.HeiseI.NieusT.BalciF.WellsS.Tocchini-ValentiG. P.MandilloS.NolanP. M.TucciV. (2014).
A cross-laboratory investigation of timing endophenotypes in mouse behavior.
Timing Time Percept.235–50.
MeckW. H. (2002b).
Distortions in the content of temporal memory: Neurobiological correlates. In
FountainS. B.BunseyM. D.DanksJ. H.McBeathM. K. (Eds.)
Animal Cognition and Sequential Behavior: Behavioral Biological and Computational Perspectives (pp.
Boston, MA, USA: Kluwer Academic Press.
RaskinS. A.WoodsS. P.PoquetteA. J.McTaggartA. B.SethnaJ.WilliamsR. C.TrösterA. I. (2011).
A differential deficit in time-versus event-based prospective memory in Parkinson’s disease.
TortA. B. L.KramerM. A.ThornC.GibsonD. J.KubotaY.GraybielA. M. (2008).
Dynamic cross-frequency couplings of local field potential oscillations in rat striatum and hippocampus during performance of a T-maze task.
Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA10520517–20522.
WimmerG. E.ShohamyD. (2011).
The striatum and beyond: Contributions of the hippocampus to decision making. In
DelgadoM. R.PhelpsE. A.RobbinsT. W. (Eds.)
Decision Making Affect and Learning: Attention and Performance XXIII (pp.
Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.