Precuneus is involved in allocentric spatial location encoding and recognition
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Using a declarative memory paradigm, the anatomical correlates of spatial location encoding and retrieval in the healthy human brain as reflected by BOLD fMRI were investigated. During encoding, subjects were instructed to view and keep in mind different locations of an object on a platform seen from different viewpoints in virtual 3D. In retrieval trials, subjects had to recognize previously learned object locations. Comparing activation patterns associated with encoding and recognition on a voxel-by-voxel basis, we found regions in the precuneus bilaterally activated by both processes. To our knowledge, this is the first study that directly compared human brain activation patterns associated with allocentric encoding and retrieval of spatial locations in virtual 3D. Our results provide further information concerning the role of the precuneus in declarative memory processes, pointing to precuneus involvement in encoding and retrieval of spatial locations.
KeywordsSpatial memory Encoding Retrieval Fmri Precuneus
We would like to thank Dr. J. Unterrainer for helpful discussion and two anonymous reviewers for valuable suggestions to improve the manuscript.
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