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Perirhinal cortex activity during visual object discrimination: an event-related fMRI study

By Andy C. H. Lee, Stephan Bandelow, Christian Schwarzbauer, Richard N. A. Henson and Kim Samantha Graham

Abstract

Previous fMRI studies have demonstrated preferential involvement of the perirhinal cortex and hippocampus in tasks of object and spatial memory, respectively. Here we investigated whether similar activity would also be present when object and spatial discrimination was assessed in the absence of explicit declarative memory demands. On each trial in the scanner, participants were presented simultaneously with two arrays of objects and were asked to indicate whether both arrays were identical, differed with respect to the identity of one object or differed with respect to the spatial arrangement of the objects. It was found that the detection of an object identity change was associated with significant right perirhinal cortex activity. We suggest that this perirhinal activity indicates a role of this structure in processes beyond declarative memory, for example, short-term visual working memory or higher order perception. Significantly greater hippocampal activity was not, however, observed during the spatial arrangement condition, perhaps due to the relatively low spatial processing demands of this task

OAI identifier: oai:http://orca.cf.ac.uk:33394
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