For a definition shown, click on the alphabet and the word of your choice, or enter a keyword in the "search word" then enter. This glossary will be updated regularly with new definitions.
Area of the brain essential for memory and learning; half is situated in the right hemisphere and half in the left.
The hippocampus is where the process of "registering" a memory occurs: a memory – a smell, poem, face, how to get to school – must be registered before being stored in the brain. If the hippocampus is damaged as a result of an accident, it would be possible to recall a memory stored before the accident, but very difficult to form new memories.
As with most cerebral structures, the hippocampus functions differently depending on the part of the brain in which it is found. The part of the hippocampus situated in the hemisphere controlling language records mostly verbal information, whereas that found in the other hemisphere permits, for example, the memory of images. This explains why some people have a more developed visual memory, while others possess a stronger verbal memory. The hippocampus is also the area where most of the neurons are regenerated throughout the whole life; it’s an important area involved in brain plasticity. The number of neurons produced in the adult hippocampus is nonetheless much smaller than in childhood or adolescence.