The Function of the Human Retrosplenial Cortex
Professor Eleanor Maguire, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging
Description of Project:
I investigated the role of the retrosplenial cortex in human cognition. This brain region is known to beimportant for remembering past events, imagining the future, navigating through environments and processing scenes. It is one of the first brain regions to undergo pathological changes in Alzheimer's dementia and damage involving the retrosplenial cortex produces profound amnesia and navigation deficits. However, its precise role in these processes was unclear.
I conducted a series of six studies, each comprising behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments. These experiments indicated that the retrosplenial cortex processes permanent predictable features of the environment and that this could have an impact upon peoples' navigation ability.
Auger SD, Maguire EA. Assessing the mechanism of response in the retrosplenial
cortex of good and poor navigators. Cortex. 2013 Aug 13. doi:pii:
S0010-9452(13)00203-7. 10.1016/j.cortex.2013.08.002. [Epub ahead of print]
Auger SD, Mullally SL, Maguire EA. Retrosplenial cortex codes for permanent
landmarks. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e43620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043620. Epub
2012 Aug 17. PubMed PMID: 22912894;