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Establishing the boundaries: The hippocampal contribution to imagining scenes

Bird, CM; Capponi, C; King, JA; Doeller, CF; Burgess, N; (2010) Establishing the boundaries: The hippocampal contribution to imagining scenes. Journal of Neuroscience , 30 (35) 11688 - 11695. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0723-10.2010. Green open access

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Abstract

When we visualize scenes, either from our own past or invented, we impose a viewpoint for our “mind’s eye” and we experience the resulting image as spatially coherent from that viewpoint. The hippocampus has been implicated in this process, but its precise contribution is unknown.Wetested a specific hypothesis based on the spatial firing properties of neurons in the hippocampal formation of rats, that this region supports the construction of spatially coherent mental images by representing the locations of the environmental boundaries surrounding our viewpoint. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that hippocampal activation increases parametrically with the number of enclosing boundaries in the imagined scene. In contrast, hippocampal activity is not modulated by a nonspatial manipulation of scene complexity nor to increasing difficulty of imagining the scenes in general. Our findings identify a specific computational role for the hippocampus in mental imagery and episodic recollection.

Type: Article
Title: Establishing the boundaries: The hippocampal contribution to imagining scenes
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0723-10.2010
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0723-10.2010
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The license allows you to copy, distribute, and transmit the work, as well as adapting it. However, you must attribute the work to the author (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work), and cannot use the work for commercial purposes without prior permission of the author. If you alter or build upon this work, you can distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/97061
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