A predominant view of perirhinal cortex (PRC) and postrhinal/parahippocampal cortex (POR/PHC) function contends that these structures are tuned to represent objects and spatial information, respectively. However, known anatomical connectivity, together with recent electrophysiological, neuroimaging, and lesion data, indicate that both brain areas participate in spatial and nonspatial processing. Instead of content-based organization, the PRC and PHC/POR may participate in two computationally distinct cortical-hippocampal networks: one network that is tuned to process coarse information quickly, forming gist-like representations of scenes/environments, and a second network tuned to process information about the specific sensory details that are necessary for discrimination across sensory modalities. The available data suggest that the latter network may be more vulnerable in advanced age.
Keywords: MRI; entorhinal cortex; hippocampus; memory; postrhinal cortex; process model.
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