spatial cognition

The brain area that makes mental maps of your environment plays a much broader role in memory and learning than was previously thought, new research from researchers at Princeton University suggests. The study investigated the hippocampus, a brain region that has been known since the 1970s to become active when rats travel around their environments… Read more

A central feature of the brain’s GPS that helps a mouse find what it is looking for has been uncovered by scientists at Columbia University. The study enabled scientists to define the precise duties of cells in a particular region of the hippocampus, the brain’s learning and memory center. The research also advances a long-standing… Read more

Similar to desert ants or homing pigeons, people have a sense of navigation which lets us use our sense of smell to identify things, and also to get around. Our brains are wired to convert smells into spatial information, say researchers. While humans may lack the scent-tracking sophistication of, for example, a search-and-rescue dog, we… Read more

The brain keeps a sense of place and a basic ability to navigate not dependent of external clues from the eyes, ears, and other senses. You’ve probably experienced this by walking through your house in the middle of the night. A series of immersive virtual reality experiments confirms that the human brain’s internal navigation system… Read more

A new work study reconciles two competing views of brain structures involved in memory and spatial perception. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine conducted experiments that suggest the hippocampus, a small region in the brain’s limbic system, is dedicated largely to memory formation and not to spatial skills, such as navigation… Read more