Parahippocampal Cortex Processes the Nonspatial Context of an Event

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Parahippocampal cortex (PHc) is known to process spatial information, both in perceptual and episodic memory studies. However, recent theories propose an expanded role for PHc in processing context information in general, whether spatial or nonspatial. The current study used a source memory paradigm to investigate encoding and retrieval of nonspatial context information. Human participants were asked to judge lexical aspects of word stimuli and to retrieve those judgments during a later memory test. Anterior PHc showed significantly greater activation for items associated with correct source judgments than items associated with incorrect source judgments during both encoding and retrieval phases. These findings suggest that the role of PHc in episodic memory cannot be limited to spatial information.

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