- To provide an overview of all known anatomical projections of the rat hippocampal - parahippocampal – retrosplenial cortex network.
- To provide a graphical interface with which users can turn on or off any connections at regional level down to the level of cortical layers.
- To make it easy to find references for a particular projection.
Converging evidence suggests that encoding, consolidation and retrieval of declarative memories rely on interactions between the hippocampal formation and the parahippocampal region. The retrosplenial cortex is activated in (autobiographical) memory tasks, navigation and prospective thinking (Vann et al., 2009). The cognitive functions in which the retrosplenial cortex is engaged show a striking similarity with the hippocampal formation and the parahippocampal region. The functional relevance of the retrosplenial cortex and the striking overlap with the functional connotations attributed to the hippocampal formation and the parahippocampal region strongly suggests a functional relationship between these areas.
Anatomical studies established that these areas consist of fourteen sub-regions, which form multiple, intricately connected networks. Current functional thinking does not fully take the improved understanding of the circuitry into consideration. Here, we integrate existing knowledge into an interactive connectome in which any connection can be turned on or off at the level of cortical layers, which helps neuroscientists to conceive this complex network.