Jun 29, 2013

The anterior hippocampus supports a coarse, global environmental representation and the posterior hippocampus supports fine-grained, local environmental representations

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Hallvard R EvensmoenAsta K Håberg


Representing an environment globally, in a coarse way, and locally, in a fine-grained way, are two fundamental aspects of how our brain interprets the world that surrounds us. The neural correlates of these representations have not been explicated in humans. In this study we used fMRI to investigate these correlates and to explore a possible functional segregation in the hippocampus and parietal cortex. We hypothesized that processing a coarse, global environmental representation engages anterior parts of these regions, whereas processing fine-grained, local environmental information engages posterior parts. Participants learned a virtual environment and then had to find their way during fMRI. After scanning, we assessed strategies used and representations stored. Activation in the hippocampal head (anterior) was related to the multiple distance and global direction judgments and to the use of a coarse, global environmental representation during navigation. Activation in the hippocampal tail (posterior) was related to both local and global direction judgments and to using strategies like number of turns. A structural shape analysis showed that the use of a coarse, global environmental representation was related to larger right ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Space Perception
Adrenal Cortex Diseases
Memory Training
Aphasia, Broca
Wernicke Area
Optical Image Reconstruction
Genus Hippocampus
Data Interpretation, Statistical
Structure of Hippocampal Formation
Entire Hippocampus

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