Affordable Access

The perceptual-mnemonic/feature conjunction model of perirhinal cortex function.

Authors
  • Bussey, Timothy J
  • Saksida, Lisa M
  • Murray, Elisabeth A
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Quarterly journal of experimental psychology. B, Comparative and physiological psychology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2005
Volume
58
Issue
3-4
Pages
269–282
Identifiers
PMID: 16194969
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The perirhinal cortex was once thought to be "silent cortex", virtually ignored by researchers interested in the neurobiology of learning and memory. Following studies of brain damage associated with cases of amnesia, perirhinal cortex is now widely regarded as part of a "medial temporal lobe (MTL) memory system". This system is thought to be more or less functionally homogeneous, having a special role in declarative memory, and making little or no contribution to other functions such as perception. In the present article, we summarize an alternative view. First, we propose that components of the putative MTL system such as the hippocampus and perirhinal cortex have distinct and dissociable functions. Second, we provide evidence that the perirhinal cortex has a role in visual discrimination. In addition, we propose a specific role for perirhinal cortex in visual discrimination: the contribution of complex conjunctive representations to the solution of visual discrimination problems with a high degree of "feature ambiguity". These proposals constitute a new view of perirhinal cortex function, one that does not assume strict modularity of function in the occipito-temporal visual stream, but replaces this idea with the notion of a hierarchical representational continuum.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times