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Cortex. 2016 Apr;77:155-163. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.02.006. Epub 2016 Feb 17.

Perceived egocentric distance sensitivity and invariance across scene-selective cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
2
Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA. Electronic address: dilks@emory.edu.

Abstract

Behavioral studies in many species and studies in robotics have demonstrated two sources of information critical for visually-guided navigation: sense (left-right) information and egocentric distance (proximal-distal) information. A recent fMRI study found sensitivity to sense information in two scene-selective cortical regions, the retrosplenial complex (RSC) and the occipital place area (OPA), consistent with hypotheses that these regions play a role in human navigation. Surprisingly, however, another scene-selective region, the parahippocampal place area (PPA), was not sensitive to sense information, challenging hypotheses that this region is directly involved in navigation. Here we examined how these regions encode egocentric distance information (e.g., a house seen from close up versus far away), another type of information crucial for navigation. Using fMRI adaptation and a regions-of-interest analysis approach in human adults, we found sensitivity to egocentric distance information in RSC and OPA, while PPA was not sensitive to such information. These findings further support that RSC and OPA are directly involved in navigation, while PPA is not, consistent with the hypothesis that scenes may be processed by distinct systems guiding navigation and recognition.

KEYWORDS:

Navigation; Occipital place area (OPA); Parahippocampal place area (PPA); Retrosplenial complex (RSC); Scene recognition

PMID:
26963085
PMCID:
PMC4808380
DOI:
10.1016/j.cortex.2016.02.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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