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Top Story

How the brain builds panoramic memory

When asked to visualize your childhood home, you can probably picture not only the house you lived in, but also the buildings next door and across the street. MIT neuroscientists have now identified two brain regions that are involved in creating these panoramic memories. As we look at a scene, visual information flows from our retinas into the brain, which has regions that are responsible for processing different elements of what we see, such as faces or objects. The team suspected that areas involved in processing scenes -- the occipital place area (OPA), the retrosplenial complex (RSC), and parahippocampal place area (PPA) -- might also be involved in generating panoramic memories of a place. These brain regions help us to merge fleeting views of our surroundings into a seamless, 360-degree panorama, the researchers say.

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