The Role of a Self-Reference System in Spatial Navigation
The self-reference system architecture developed to explain the retrieval of spatial knowledge from long-term memory is reviewed and expanded to include navigational tracking as one of its operations. A distinction is made between the operation of the self-reference system at a perceptual-motor and a representational level, and a case is made that if a representational self-reference system is to function as a navigational tracking device, it must be closely connected with the perceptual-motor level. Existing empirical evidence is reviewed and new empirical evidence is reported that explores the connections between the two levels of functioning. Additionally, the operations that would enable a self-reference system to function as a tracking device are derived from an animal model of sense of direction. The ideas explored in this manuscript rely on the premise that spatial memory systems evolved in the service of spatial navigation.
KeywordsSelf-reference system navigational tracking device cognitive map geocentric heading path integration inertial dead reckoning
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