Neural correlates of human wayfinding in stroke patients
Number of pages
SourceBrain Research, 1067, 1, (2006), pp. 229-238
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectCognitive neuroscience; DCN 1: Perception and Action; DCN 2: Functional Neurogenomics; EBP 1: Determinants of Health and Disease; EBP 2: Effective Hospital Care; NCEBP 11: Alzheimer Centre; NCEBP 8: Psychological determinants of chronic illness; UMCN 3.2: Cognitive neurosciences; EBP 1: Determinants of Health and Disease
Wayfinding is a complex cognitive function involving different types of information, such as knowledge about landmarks and direction information. This variety of processes suggest that multiple neural mechanisms are involved, e.g., the hippocampal system, the posterior parietal and temporal cortical areas. Although patient studies and imaging studies have given important insights in the exact neural circuitry underlying wayfinding, many controversies remain. Therefore, the current study sets out to further examine the neuroanatomical correlates of wayfinding in a sample of 31 stroke patients with unilateral lesions, tested with a series of different wayfinding tasks, including landmark recognition, landmark ordering, route reversal and route drawing. For all patients, the exact location of their lesion was determined using CT or MRI scans. Based on existing literature, a number of relevant brain areas were demarcated, after which the extent of damage to these areas was determined for each patient separately. Performance on the landmark recognition task was impaired by damage to the right hippocampal formation, whereas a weak correlation was found between damage to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and processing the order of the landmarks. Several brain areas were found to be involved in retracing a route from the end to the beginning, including the right hippocampal formation, the right posterior parietal cortex, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the right temporal lobe. Finally, damage to the right temporal lobe impaired the ability to draw the route.
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