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Dissociating Landmark Stability from Orienting Value Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Auger, SD; Maguire, EA; (2018) Dissociating Landmark Stability from Orienting Value Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience , 30 (5) pp. 698-713. 10.1162/jocn_a_01231. Green open access

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Abstract

Retrosplenial cortex (RSC) plays a role in using environmental landmarks to help orientate oneself in space. It has also been consistently implicated in processing landmarks that remain fixed in a permanent location. However, it is not clear whether the RSC represents the permanent landmarks themselves or instead the orienting relevance of these landmarks. In previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, these features have been conflated-stable landmarks were always useful for orienting. Here, we dissociated these two key landmark attributes to investigate which one best reflects the function of the RSC. Before scanning, participants learned the features of novel landmarks about which they had no prior knowledge. During fMRI scanning, we found that the RSC was more engaged when people viewed permanent compared with transient landmarks and was not responsive to the orienting relevance of landmarks. Activity in RSC was also related to the amount of landmark permanence information a person had acquired and, as knowledge increased, the more the RSC drove responses in the anterior thalamus while viewing permanent landmarks. In contrast, the angular gyrus and the hippocampus were engaged by the orienting relevance of landmarks, but not their permanence, with the hippocampus also sensitive to the distance between relevant landmarks and target locations. We conclude that the coding of permanent landmarks in RSC may drive processing in regions like anterior thalamus, with possible implications for the efficacy of functions such as navigation.

Type: Article
Title: Dissociating Landmark Stability from Orienting Value Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_01231
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01231
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Published under a Creative Commons Atrribution 3.0 unported (CC BY 3.0) license.
UCL classification: UCL
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 > 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 > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10042704
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