Integration of "what" and "where" in frontal cortex during visual imagery of scenes

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20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Imagination is a key function for many human activities, such as reminiscing, learning, or planning. Unravelling its neuro-biological basis is paramount to grasp the essence of our thoughts. Previous neuroimaging studies have identified brain regions subserving the visualisation of "what?" (e.g. faces or objects) and "where?" (e.g. spatial layout) content of mental images. However, the functional role of a common set of involved regions - the frontal regions - and their interplay with the "what" and "where" regions, has remained largely unspecified. This study combines functional MRI and electroencephalography to examine the full-brain network that underlies the visual imagery of complex scenes and to investigate the spectro-temporal properties of its nodes, especially of the frontal cortex. Our results indicate that frontal regions integrate the "what" and "where" content of our thoughts into one visually imagined scene. We link early synchronisation of anterior theta and beta oscillations to regional activation of right and central frontal cortices, reflecting retrieval and integration of information. These frontal regions orchestrate remote occipital-temporal regions (including calcarine sulcus and parahippocampal gyrus) that encode the detailed representations of the objects, and parietal "where" regions that encode the spatial layout into forming one coherent mental picture. Specifically the mesial superior frontal gyrus appears to have a principal integrative role, as its activity during the visualisation of the scene predicts subsequent performance on the imagery task.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroimage
Volume60
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

Keywords

  • fMRI
  • EEG
  • Mental imagery
  • Scenes
  • Frontal cortex
  • SHORT-TERM-MEMORY
  • INDEPENDENT COMPONENT ANALYSIS
  • HEMODYNAMIC-RESPONSE FUNCTION
  • SPATIAL MENTAL-IMAGERY
  • TIME-RESOLVED FMRI
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • FUNCTIONAL-ANATOMY
  • HUMAN-BRAIN
  • VISUOSPATIAL IMAGERY
  • OBJECT RECOGNITION

Cite this

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title = "Integration of {"}what{"} and {"}where{"} in frontal cortex during visual imagery of scenes",
abstract = "Imagination is a key function for many human activities, such as reminiscing, learning, or planning. Unravelling its neuro-biological basis is paramount to grasp the essence of our thoughts. Previous neuroimaging studies have identified brain regions subserving the visualisation of {"}what?{"} (e.g. faces or objects) and {"}where?{"} (e.g. spatial layout) content of mental images. However, the functional role of a common set of involved regions - the frontal regions - and their interplay with the {"}what{"} and {"}where{"} regions, has remained largely unspecified. This study combines functional MRI and electroencephalography to examine the full-brain network that underlies the visual imagery of complex scenes and to investigate the spectro-temporal properties of its nodes, especially of the frontal cortex. Our results indicate that frontal regions integrate the {"}what{"} and {"}where{"} content of our thoughts into one visually imagined scene. We link early synchronisation of anterior theta and beta oscillations to regional activation of right and central frontal cortices, reflecting retrieval and integration of information. These frontal regions orchestrate remote occipital-temporal regions (including calcarine sulcus and parahippocampal gyrus) that encode the detailed representations of the objects, and parietal {"}where{"} regions that encode the spatial layout into forming one coherent mental picture. Specifically the mesial superior frontal gyrus appears to have a principal integrative role, as its activity during the visualisation of the scene predicts subsequent performance on the imagery task.",
keywords = "fMRI, EEG, Mental imagery, Scenes, Frontal cortex, SHORT-TERM-MEMORY, INDEPENDENT COMPONENT ANALYSIS, HEMODYNAMIC-RESPONSE FUNCTION, SPATIAL MENTAL-IMAGERY, TIME-RESOLVED FMRI, WORKING-MEMORY, FUNCTIONAL-ANATOMY, HUMAN-BRAIN, VISUOSPATIAL IMAGERY, OBJECT RECOGNITION",
author = "{de Borst}, A.W. and A.T. Sack and B.M. Jansma and F. Esposito and {de Martino}, F. and G. Valente and A. Roebroeck and {Di Salle}, F. and R. Goebel and E. Formisano",
year = "2012",
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doi = "10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.12.005",
language = "English",
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pages = "47--58",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Integration of "what" and "where" in frontal cortex during visual imagery of scenes

AU - de Borst, A.W.

AU - Sack, A.T.

AU - Jansma, B.M.

AU - Esposito, F.

AU - de Martino, F.

AU - Valente, G.

AU - Roebroeck, A.

AU - Di Salle, F.

AU - Goebel, R.

AU - Formisano, E.

PY - 2012/3

Y1 - 2012/3

N2 - Imagination is a key function for many human activities, such as reminiscing, learning, or planning. Unravelling its neuro-biological basis is paramount to grasp the essence of our thoughts. Previous neuroimaging studies have identified brain regions subserving the visualisation of "what?" (e.g. faces or objects) and "where?" (e.g. spatial layout) content of mental images. However, the functional role of a common set of involved regions - the frontal regions - and their interplay with the "what" and "where" regions, has remained largely unspecified. This study combines functional MRI and electroencephalography to examine the full-brain network that underlies the visual imagery of complex scenes and to investigate the spectro-temporal properties of its nodes, especially of the frontal cortex. Our results indicate that frontal regions integrate the "what" and "where" content of our thoughts into one visually imagined scene. We link early synchronisation of anterior theta and beta oscillations to regional activation of right and central frontal cortices, reflecting retrieval and integration of information. These frontal regions orchestrate remote occipital-temporal regions (including calcarine sulcus and parahippocampal gyrus) that encode the detailed representations of the objects, and parietal "where" regions that encode the spatial layout into forming one coherent mental picture. Specifically the mesial superior frontal gyrus appears to have a principal integrative role, as its activity during the visualisation of the scene predicts subsequent performance on the imagery task.

AB - Imagination is a key function for many human activities, such as reminiscing, learning, or planning. Unravelling its neuro-biological basis is paramount to grasp the essence of our thoughts. Previous neuroimaging studies have identified brain regions subserving the visualisation of "what?" (e.g. faces or objects) and "where?" (e.g. spatial layout) content of mental images. However, the functional role of a common set of involved regions - the frontal regions - and their interplay with the "what" and "where" regions, has remained largely unspecified. This study combines functional MRI and electroencephalography to examine the full-brain network that underlies the visual imagery of complex scenes and to investigate the spectro-temporal properties of its nodes, especially of the frontal cortex. Our results indicate that frontal regions integrate the "what" and "where" content of our thoughts into one visually imagined scene. We link early synchronisation of anterior theta and beta oscillations to regional activation of right and central frontal cortices, reflecting retrieval and integration of information. These frontal regions orchestrate remote occipital-temporal regions (including calcarine sulcus and parahippocampal gyrus) that encode the detailed representations of the objects, and parietal "where" regions that encode the spatial layout into forming one coherent mental picture. Specifically the mesial superior frontal gyrus appears to have a principal integrative role, as its activity during the visualisation of the scene predicts subsequent performance on the imagery task.

KW - fMRI

KW - EEG

KW - Mental imagery

KW - Scenes

KW - Frontal cortex

KW - SHORT-TERM-MEMORY

KW - INDEPENDENT COMPONENT ANALYSIS

KW - HEMODYNAMIC-RESPONSE FUNCTION

KW - SPATIAL MENTAL-IMAGERY

KW - TIME-RESOLVED FMRI

KW - WORKING-MEMORY

KW - FUNCTIONAL-ANATOMY

KW - HUMAN-BRAIN

KW - VISUOSPATIAL IMAGERY

KW - OBJECT RECOGNITION

U2 - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.12.005

DO - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.12.005

M3 - Article

VL - 60

SP - 47

EP - 58

JO - Neuroimage

JF - Neuroimage

SN - 1053-8119

IS - 1

ER -