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Neuroreport. 2002 May 24;13(7):939-44.

Human hippocampal activation during transitive inference.

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  • 1Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit (11P), Psychiatry Service, Minneapolis VAMC, One Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA.


The medial temporal lobe contains multiple structures whose mnemonic operations need further delineation. One model posits the function of the hippocampus as a relational binder, collaborating with overlying cortices that perform encoding and retrieval operations. For instance, lesions of the hippocampus leave intact the learning of paired-associates while impairing the ability to synthesize information across pairs. We test this relational model with two PET studies of normal humans during a transitive inference task using faces that either have or lack relationships across the stimulus pairs. Both studies converge to support a relational processing model of hippocampal function.

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