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Remembering object locations across different views is a fundamental competence for keeping oriented in large-scale space. Here we investigated such ability by comparing encoding and retrieval of locations across viewpoint changes relative to different spatial frames of reference. We acquired functional magnetic resonance images while subjects detected target displacements across consecutive views of a familiar virtual room, reporting changes in the target absolute position in the room (stable environmental frame), changes in its position relative to a set of movable objects (unstable object-based frame), and changes relative to their point of view (control viewer-centered frame). Behavioral costs were higher for the stable environmental frame, and a cortical network including the lingual/parahippocampal gyrus (LPHG) and the retrosplenial complex (RSC) selectively encoded spatial locations relative to this frame. Several regions, including the dorsal fronto-parietal cortex and the LPHG, were modulated by the amount of experienced viewpoint change, but only the RSC was selectively modulated by the amount of viewpoint change relative to the environmental frame, thus showing a special role in coding one's own position and heading in familiar environments. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Valentina Sulpizio, Giorgia Committeri, Simon Lambrey, Alain Berthoz, Gaspare Galati. Selective role of lingual/parahippocampal gyrus and retrosplenial complex in spatial memory across viewpoint changes relative to the environmental reference frame. Behavioural brain research. 2013 Apr 1;242:62-75

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PMID: 23274842

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