Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The hippocampal-entorhinal system encodes a map of space that guides spatial navigation. Goal-directed behaviour outside of spatial navigation similarly requires a representation of abstract forms of relational knowledge. This information relies on the same neural system, but it is not known whether the organisational principles governing continuous maps may extend to the implicit encoding of discrete, non-spatial graphs. Here, we show that the human hippocampal-entorhinal system can represent relationships between objects using a metric that depends on associative strength. We reconstruct a map-like knowledge structure directly from a hippocampal-entorhinal functional magnetic resonance imaging adaptation signal in a situation where relationships are non-spatial rather than spatial, discrete rather than continuous, and unavailable to conscious awareness. Notably, the measure that best predicted a behavioural signature of implicit knowledge and blood oxygen level-dependent adaptation was a weighted sum of future states, akin to the successor representation that has been proposed to account for place and grid-cell firing patterns.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





entorhinal cortex, human, medial temporal lobes, memory, neuroscience, statistical learning, Brain Mapping, Entorhinal Cortex, Hippocampus, Humans, Knowledge, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Models, Neurological