The hippocampus is an integral part of the brain and has many important functions. It’s also the area most affected by Alzheimer’s disease, which causes memory loss and other problems. Scientists are working hard to understand more about the brain to find a cure for this devastating condition. But what exactly is the hippocampus? And what does it do? Read on for answers!
How big is a hippocampus?
The hippocampus is a small part of the brain that’s located in the medial temporal lobe. It sits near the amygdala, which is a region associated with fear and other emotions. The hippocampus plays an important role in learning and memory. It also processes spatial information so we know where things are located relative to each other, like a room or city streets.
The hippocampus is made up of two parts: CA fields and dentate gyrus (see image below).
What does the word ‘hippocampus’ mean?
Hippocampus is the name of the part of your brain that helps you remember things. The word comes from the Greek word for “seahorse” because it looks like a seahorse, with its two horns at either end. Hippocampus also helps you to learn and recognize new information and experiences. It’s made up of different types of cells, including neurons and glial cells, which support nerve cell function in other parts of your brain as well.
What does the hippocampus do?
What does the hippocampus do? The hippocampus is a part of your brain that helps you remember where you are and what you are doing. It’s also important for forming new memories, recognizing people and places, navigating your environment, learning new skills and even remembering your dreams.
How does the hippocampus work?
The hippocampus is a part of the brain that’s responsible for memory, spatial navigation, emotional processing, and learning. It plays an important role in helping you create new memories and recall past events. The hippocampus is located deep inside the brain, underneath the temporal lobes (the sides of your head).
The hippocampus contains neural connections that allow it to communicate with other parts of your brain—like those responsible for language and vision—and also with parts outside your head like muscles and skin cells. This network allows all sorts of information from different senses (sight, smell) or emotions (fear) to be connected together in order to form thoughts such as “I’m scared because there are bears outside my window.”
How do you grow a bigger hippocampus?
Hippocampus size is a heritable trait, meaning that if your mother and father have larger hippocampi than average then you are more likely to grow an above average one. But you can still do things to help it along, like:
Meditate. Meditation has been shown to increase the volume of the hippocampus in people who practice it regularly. This suggests that meditation may be useful not only for treating anxiety and depression but also for preventing them from occurring in the first place!
Exercise. Working out increases blood flow to your brain which helps grow new neurons in areas like the hippocampus and helps keep old ones healthy too!
Eat right! Consuming a diet high in antioxidants (like berries or leafy greens) will reduce oxidative stress on cells throughout your body including those in your brain, thus slowing down aging processes that can cause damage over time causing cell death or dysfunction (like Alzheimer’s disease).
Why does the hippocampus get smaller when you age or get Alzheimer’s disease?
The hippocampus is a part of the brain that helps with memory. It’s also one of the first parts to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and it shrinks as you age.
Why does this happen?
There are several reasons why the hippocampus gets smaller or stops working correctly:
- Aging – Our brains shrink between ages 60 and 80, and shrink faster after 80 years old. As we get older, it becomes harder for us to remember new things or learn new skills. This is because many areas in our brains (including regions involved in memory) shrink over time due to lack of use or other factors like stress or poor diet choices.
- Alzheimer’s Disease – The hippocampus is one area that shrinks when people have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia (a general term for symptoms caused by damage to nerve cells). Researchers think this might be why people forget things as they get older – because their brains aren’t working well anymore!
- Depression – People who suffer from depression tend to have less volume in certain parts of their brains—especially those involved with emotions such as sadness. This could mean that depression affects how we process information too: if you didn’t feel very happy then maybe it would be harder for us remember something? We don’t know yet but scientists are still looking into this question!
What are the symptoms of hippocampal dysfunction?
The symptoms of hippocampal dysfunction include:
- Difficulty learning and remembering new information. This may result in problems with acquiring new tasks, such as learning a new language or sport.
- Difficulty finding the right word when speaking (also called word retrieval). For example, you might say “a” instead of “the.”
- Poor or slow problem solving skills. Your ability to solve problems may be slower and less efficient than normal. You may experience difficulty concentrating on complex tasks that require ongoing mental effort over an extended period of time (such as writing an essay).
- Difficulty with spatial orientation (also called visuospatial skills). This includes getting lost while driving or not being able to find things in your environment when they are needed (for example, losing keys).
Can you fix a damaged hippocampus?
The hippocampus is a complex structure, so it’s no surprise that damage to the hippocampus can cause a lot of symptoms. The hippocampus is important for memory and learning, so if you have a damaged one, you may experience some of the following:
- Difficulty remembering new information
- Trouble learning new facts or skills
- Part of your brain not working as well as it should (this isn’t always obvious)
The brain is an amazing organ that can still be fixed and improved.
The brain is amazing. It’s a complex organ that can be fixed and improved, and it’s also plastic, which means it can be trained to do new things. The brain isn’t a fixed entity, but rather constantly changing and adapting as you learn new information and experiences. Your brain may not have all the answers right now—but it will soon enough!
The hippocampus is such an important part of the brain, and it’s so good to know that there are ways we can improve our function by doing things like exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep. I hope you found these questions helpful!