Neural correlates of topographic mental exploration: The impact of route versus survey perspective learning

E. Mellet, S. Bricogne, N. Tzourio-Mazoyer, O. Ghaëm, L. Petit, L. Zago, O. Etard, A. Berthoz, B. Mazoyer, M. Denis
NeuroImage. 2000-11-01; 12(5): 588-600
DOI: 10.1006/nimg.2000.0648

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1. Neuroimage. 2000 Nov;12(5):588-600.

Neural correlates of topographic mental exploration: the impact of route versus
survey perspective learning.

Mellet E(1), Briscogne S, Tzourio-Mazoyer N, Ghaëm O, Petit L, Zago L, Etard O,
Berthoz A, Mazoyer B, Denis M.

Author information:
(1)Universite de Caen, Caen Cedex, 14074, France.

There are two major sources of information to build a topographic representation
of an environment, namely actual navigation within the environment (route
perspective) and map learning (survey perspective). The aim of the present work
was to use positron emission tomography (PET) to compare the neural substrate of
the topographic representation built from these two modes. One group of subjects
performed a mental exploration task in an environment learned from actual
navigation (mental navigation task). Another group of subjects performed
exploration in the same environment learned from a map (mental map task). A right
hippocampal activation common to both mental navigation and mental map tasks was
evidenced and may correspond the neural substrate of a “dual-perspective”
representation. The parahippocampal gyrus was additionally activated bilaterally
during mental navigation only. These results suggest that the right hippocampus
involvement would be sufficient when the representation incorporates essentially
survey information while the bilateral parahippocampal gyrus would be involved
when the environment incorporates route information and includes “object”
landmarks. The activation of a parietofrontal network composed of the
intraparietal sulcus, the superior frontal sulcus, the middle frontal gyrus, and
the pre-SMA was observed in common for both mental navigation and mental map and
is likely to reflect the spatial mental imagery components of the tasks.

DOI: 10.1006/nimg.2000.0648
PMID: 11034866 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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