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Hippocampus, fornix and amygdaloid body

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Learn the gross anatomy of the hippocampus, fornix and amygdaloid body.
  2. Name the parts, relations and functions of each structure.
  3. Understand the connections of those parts of the brain and the role that they play in the limbic system.

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The hippocampus, fornix and amygdaloid body are bilateral subcortical structures located in the temporal lobe of both cerebral hemispheres. Along with several other structures, they contribute to the system of the brain which plays a pivotal role in behavioral control, the limbic system.

The hippocampus is part of a larger structure called hippocampal formation. In addition to the hippocampus (proper), the hippocampal formation also contains the dentate gyrus, subiculum, and entorhinal cortex. The hippocampus is located in the temporal lobe and it is best known for its role in memory processing.

The amygdaloid body (also known as amygdala or amygdaloid complex) refers to an almond-shaped group of nuclei found adjacent to the hippocampus. It comprises three parts (basolateral nuclear group, olfactory/cortical amygdala and centromedial nuclear group) that have different neural connections and functions. The amygdala is considered to be an integrative center for emotions, emotional behavior, and motivation.

The fornix is a fiber bundle that extends from the posterior portion of the hippocampus to the mammillary body. It consists of several parts including columns, body and crura.

This video tutorial will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the hippocampus and fornix.

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Browse atlas

Now you can observe each structure in more detail with our image galleries:


Key points about the hippocampus, fornix and amygdaloid body
Hippocampal formation Definition: Prominent C-shaped structure embedded deep in the temporal lobe of both cerebral hemispheres
: Hippocampus proper, dentate gyrus, subiculum, entorhinal cortex
: Learning and memory
Fornix Definition: C-shaped bundle of nerve fibers extending from the hippocampus to the mammillary bodies and anterior nuclei of thalamus
: Columns, body, crura
: Formation of important subcortical connections: hippocampus to mammillary bodies, mammillary bodies to the anterior nuclei of thalamus, and hippocampus to septal nuclei and nuclei accumbens
Amygdaloid body Definition: Almond-shaped group of nuclei located in the temporal lobe of each cerebral hemisphere
: 3 groups of nuclei (basolateral, corticomedial/olfactory, centromedial)
: Response to stress, feeding and drinking behavior, respiratory and cardiovascular functions

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