A new study recently published in the journal Human Brain Mapping revealed that the shape of the hippocampus might be more telling than the size of the hippocampus in terms of memory and cognitive function. The study is entitled “Hippocampal (subfield) volume and shape in relation to cognitive performance across the adult lifespan” and was conducted by a multidisciplinary research team at the Canadian University of Toronto, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and the McGill University.
The hippocampus is a region in the brain known to be linked to memory and spatial navigation. The size of the hippocampus is usually assessed as an indicator of the integrity of the brain’s memory circuit, where a larger hippocampus is typically interpreted as offering improved memory function. The shape of the hippocampus, on the other hand, is often overlooked.
Researchers have developed a new algorithmic technique that is capable of mapping the hippocampus structure and offer information about its shape. The research team analyzed 137 healthy individuals across the adult lifespan (from 18 to 86 years old) in terms of hippocampal morphology and cognitive function.