Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Papez Circuit

  • John BigbeeEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_347


Limbic circuit


A major loop circuit of the limbic system was originally discovered in the cat brain by Dr. James Papez in 1937. Together with other limbic-associated structures, the Papez circuit functions primarily in the cortical control of emotion and memory storage and contains centers that regulate aversion and gratification.

Current Knowledge

Beginning with neurons in the subiculum of the hippocampus, axons project via the fornix to the medial mammillary nucleus of the hypothalamus. Axons from the medial nucleus then project as the mamillothalamic tract to the anterior nucleus of the thalamus, which sends connections to the cortex of the cingulate gyrus. Output from the cingulate gyrus forms the cingulum that connects to the entorhinal cortex and completes the circuit with terminations in the subiculum and hippocampus. Additional structures associated with the Papez circuit include the prefrontal cortex, septum, and amygdala. Damage to limbic structures...

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References and Readings

  1. Aggleton, J. P., Pralus, A., Nelson, A. J. D., & Hornberger, M. (2016). Thalamic pathology and memory loss in early Alzheimer’s disease: Moving the focus from the medial temporal lobe to Papez circuit. Brain, 139, 1877–1890.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Lautin, A. (2001). The limbic brain. New York: Kluwer/Plenum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anatomy and NeurobiologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA