Allocentric representation in the human amygdala and ventral visual stream
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex are considered the main brain structures for allocentric representation of the external environment. Here, we show that the amygdala and the ventral visual stream are involved in allocentric representation. Thirty-one young men explored 35 virtual environments during high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and were subsequently tested on recall of the allocentric pattern of the objects in each environment—in other words, the positions of the objects relative to each other and to the outer perimeter. We find increasingly unique brain activation patterns associated with increasing allocentric accuracy in distinct neural populations in the perirhinal cortex, parahippocampal cortex, fusiform cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, and entorhinal cortex. In contrast to the traditional view of a hierarchical MTL network with the hippocampus at the top, we demonstrate, using recently developed graph analyses, a hierarchical allocentric MTL network without a main connector hub.