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Elife. 2019 Jul 15;8. pii: e47391. doi: 10.7554/eLife.47391.

Distinct subdivisions of human medial parietal cortex support recollection of people and places.

Author information

Laboratory of Brain & Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, United States.
Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, FMRIB, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Contributed equally


Human medial parietal cortex (MPC) is implicated in multiple cognitive processes including memory recall, visual scene processing and navigation, and is a core component of the default mode network. Here, we demonstrate distinct subdivisions of MPC that are selectively recruited during memory recall of either specific people or places. First, distinct regions of MPC exhibited differential functional connectivity with medial and lateral regions of ventral temporal cortex (VTC). Second, these same medial regions showed selective, but negative, responses to the visual presentation of different stimulus categories, with clear preferences for scenes and faces. Finally, and most critically, these regions were differentially recruited during memory recall of either people or places with a strong familiarity advantage. Taken together, these data suggest that the organizing principle defining the medial-lateral axis of VTC is reflected in MPC, but in the context of memory recall.


fMRI; human; medial parietal cortex; memory; neuroscience; vision

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