Human perception is supported by regions of ventral visual cortex that become active when specific types of information appear in the environment. This coupling has led to a common assumption in cognitive neuroscience that stimulus-evoked activity in these regions only reflects information about the current stimulus. Here we challenge this assumption for how scenes are represented in a sceneselective region of parahippocampal cortex. This region treated two identical scenes as more similar when they were preceded in time by the same stimuli compared to when they were preceded by different stimuli. These findings suggest that parahippocampal cortex embeds scenes in their temporal context to determine what they represent. By integrating the past and present, such representations may support the encoding and navigation of complex environments.
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