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Trends Cogn Sci. 2008 Oct;12(10):388-96. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2008.07.004. Epub 2008 Aug 28.

Parahippocampal and retrosplenial contributions to human spatial navigation.

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Department of Psychology and Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, 3720 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6241, USA.


Spatial navigation is a core cognitive ability in humans and animals. Neuroimaging studies have identified two functionally defined brain regions that activate during navigational tasks and also during passive viewing of navigationally relevant stimuli such as environmental scenes: the parahippocampal place area (PPA) and the retrosplenial complex (RSC). Recent findings indicate that the PPA and RSC have distinct and complementary roles in spatial navigation, with the PPA more concerned with representation of the local visual scene and RSC more concerned with situating the scene within the broader spatial environment. These findings are a first step towards understanding the separate components of the cortical network that mediates spatial navigation in humans.

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