Brain and Behavior

The Major Structures of the Brain

What does the hippocampus do?

The hippocampus is a caterpillar-like structure on the medial (inner) side of the temporal lobe and is heavily involved with memory. Early brain anatomists believed it looked more like a seahorse and named it after the Greek word for seahorse (hippo = horse). While the hippocampus does not process emotion, per se, it is located near the other limbic structures and carries memories of emotionally meaningful events. What we interpret as emotionally arousing, therefore, is heavily dependent on our memories of similar experiences.


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