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Neuron. 1999 May;23(1):115-25.

The parahippocampal place area: recognition, navigation, or encoding?

Author information

1
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA. epstein@psyche.mit.edu

Abstract

The parahippocampal place area (PPA) has been demonstrated to respond more strongly in fMRI to scenes depicting places than to other kinds of visual stimuli. Here, we test several hypotheses about the function of the PPA. We find that PPA activity (1) is not affected by the subjects' familiarity with the place depicted, (2) does not increase when subjects experience a sense of motion through the scene, and (3) is greater when viewing novel versus repeated scenes but not novel versus repeated faces. Thus, we find no evidence that the PPA is involved in matching perceptual information to stored representations in memory, in planning routes, or in monitoring locomotion through the local or distal environment but some evidence that it is involved in encoding new perceptual information about the appearance and layout of scenes.

PMID:
10402198
DOI:
10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80758-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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