Neural representation of object location and route direction: An event-related fMRI study
Janzen, G., & Weststeijn, C. G.
Neural representation of object location and route direction: An event-related fMRI study. Brain Research, 1165
, 116-125. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2007.05.074.
The human brain distinguishes between landmarks placed at navigationally relevant and irrelevant locations. However, to provide a successful wayfinding mechanism not only landmarks but also the routes between them need to be stored. We examined the neural representation of a memory for route direction and a memory for relevant landmarks. Healthy human adults viewed objects along a route through a virtual maze. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were acquired during a subsequent subliminal priming recognition task. Prime-objects either preceded or succeeded a target-object on a preciously learned route. Our results provide evidence that the parahippocampal gyri distinguish between relevant and irrelevant landmarks whereas the inferior parietal gyrus, the anterior cingulate gyrus as well as the right caudate nucleus are involved in the coding of route direction. These data show that separated memory systems store different spatial information. A memory for navigationally relevant object information and a memory for route direction exist.