The hippocampus is an important structure for learning and memory because although it is still beneath the level of the cerebral cortex, for all practical purposes it structures the foundations of our internal world. People with a history of psychosis often experience the dissolution of all reliable structures of their world during a psychotic episode. They can't hold on to anything, and despair about a world that allows no more unambiguous distinctions and decisions. Most people wish that extreme violence against children and helpless people was an invention of novelists, an exception, something we can oppose vehemently and indignantly. Because the human organism is born with the instinct to try to survive at any price, it's easy to understand how the tormentors can succeed in training human beings into being parts and robots, to substantially shut down their cerebral cortexes and their consciousness.