Territorial blueprint in the hippocampal system

Sylvia Wirth, Amelie Soumier, Marina Eliava, Dori Derdikman, Shlomo Wagner, Valery Grinevich, Angela Sirigu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


As we skillfully navigate through familiar places, neural computations of distances and coordinates escape our attention. However, we perceive clearly the division of space into socially meaningful territories. ‘My space’ versus ‘your space’ is a distinction familiar to all of us. Spatial frontiers are social in nature since they regulate individuals’ access to utilities in space depending on hierarchy and affiliation. How does the brain integrate spatial geometry with social territory? We propose that the action of oxytocin (OT) in the entorhinal–hippocampal regions supports this process. Grounded on the functional role of the hypothalamic neuropeptide in the hippocampal system, we show how OT-induced plasticity may bias the geometrical coding of place and grid cells to represent social territories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-842
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • hippocampus
  • oxytocin
  • resource protection
  • social competition
  • space
  • territorial behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Territorial blueprint in the hippocampal system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this