Perceived egocentric distance sensitivity and invariance across scene-selective cortex Open Access

Persichetti, Andrew Steven (2015)

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Behavioral studies in many species and studies in robotics have demonstrated two sources of information critical for visually-guided navigation: sense (left-right) information and egocentric distance (proximal-distal) information. A recent fMRI study found sensitivity to sense information in two scene-selective cortical regions, the retrosplenial complex (RSC) and the occipital place area (OPA), consistent with hypotheses that these regions play a role in human navigation. Surprisingly, however, another scene-selective region, the parahippocampal place area (PPA), was not sensitive to sense information, challenging hypotheses that this region is directly involved in navigation. Here we conduct a stronger test of the involvement of these regions in navigation, by investigating how these regions encode egocentric distance information (e.g., a house seen from close up versus far away), another type of information crucial for navigation. Using fMRI adaptation in human adults, we found no sensitivity to egocentric distance information in PPA, while RSC and OPA showed sensitivity to such information. These findings further support that RSC and OPA may be directly involved in navigation, while PPA is not, and suggest that scenes are processed by distinct pathways guiding navigation and recognition.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction. 1

II. Methods. 3

III. Results. 8

IV. Discussion. 14

V. References. 21

VI.Figure Captions. 25

VII. Figures. 27

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