Data from positron emission tomography (PET) studies showed novelty activations--higher regional cerebral blood flow associated with perceiving novel rather than familiar stimuli. Regions in the right 'expanded' limbic system--hippocampal formation, parahippocampal gyrus, retrosplenial cortex, thalamus, subcallosal area, the border between cortical areas 32 and 10, anterior and inferior cingulate cortex, putamen, and medial prefrontal cortex--showed such activations for complex pictures. Because novel information is usually encoded for storage in memory, these regions can be seen as constituting components of a visual/spatial novelty encoding network. Insular, opercular and temporal regions (e.g. area 37) showed novelty activations not only for visual pictures but also for auditorily presented sentences, and can be thought of as components of a transmodal novelty encoding network.