Dissociable representations of environmental size and complexity in the human hippocampus

Baumann, Oliver and Mattingley, Jason B. (2013) Dissociable representations of environmental size and complexity in the human hippocampus. Journal of Neuroscience, 33 25: 10526-10533. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0350-13.2013

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Author Baumann, Oliver
Mattingley, Jason B.
Title Dissociable representations of environmental size and complexity in the human hippocampus
Journal name Journal of Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0270-6474
Publication date 2013-06-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0350-13.2013
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 33
Issue 25
Start page 10526
End page 10533
Total pages 8
Place of publication Washington, United States
Publisher Society for Neuroscience
Language eng
Abstract The hippocampus is widely assumed to play a central role in representing spatial layouts in the form of "cognitive maps." It remains unclear, however, which properties of the world are explicitly encoded in the hippocampus, and how these properties might contribute to the formation of cognitive maps. Here we investigated how physical size and complexity, two key properties of any environment, affect memory-related neural activity in the human hippocampus. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging and a virtual maze-learning task to examine retrieval-related activity for three previously learned virtual mazes that differed systematically in their physical size and complexity (here defined as the number of distinct paths within the maze). Before scanning, participants learned to navigate each of the three mazes; hippocampal activity was then measured during brief presentations of static images from within each maze. Activity within the posterior hippocampus scaled with maze size but not complexity, whereas activity in the anterior hippocampus scaled with maze complexity but not size. This double dissociation demonstrates that environmental size and complexity are explicitly represented in the human hippocampus, and reveals a functional specialization for these properties along its anterior-posterior axis.
Keyword Neurosciences
Neurosciences & Neurology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DE120100535
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 10 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 11 Aug 2013, 10:07:27 EST by System User on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute