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J Neurosci. 2011 Sep 28;31(39):13771-85. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2792-11.2011.

Scene-selective cortical regions in human and nonhuman primates.

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Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


fMRI studies have revealed three scene-selective regions in human visual cortex [the parahippocampal place area (PPA), transverse occipital sulcus (TOS), and retrosplenial cortex (RSC)], which have been linked to higher-order functions such as navigation, scene perception/recognition, and contextual association. Here, we document corresponding (presumptively homologous) scene-selective regions in the awake macaque monkey, based on direct comparison to human maps, using identical stimuli and largely overlapping fMRI procedures. In humans, our results showed that the three scene-selective regions are centered near-but distinct from-the gyri/sulci for which they were originally named. In addition, all these regions are located within or adjacent to known retinotopic areas. Human RSC and PPA are located adjacent to the peripheral representation of primary and secondary visual cortex, respectively. Human TOS is located immediately anterior/ventral to retinotopic area V3A, within retinotopic regions LO-1, V3B, and/or V7. Mirroring the arrangement of human regions fusiform face area (FFA) and PPA (which are adjacent to each other in cortex), the presumptive monkey homolog of human PPA is located adjacent to the monkey homolog of human FFA, near the posterior superior temporal sulcus. Monkey TOS includes the region predicted from the human maps (macaque V4d), extending into retinotopically defined V3A. A possible monkey homolog of human RSC lies in the medial bank, near peripheral V1. Overall, our findings suggest a homologous neural architecture for scene-selective regions in visual cortex of humans and nonhuman primates, analogous to the face-selective regions demonstrated earlier in these two species.

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