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Neural Representations Supporting Spatial Navigation and Memory

  • Joel E. Brown
  • Jeffrey S. Taube

Abstract

Neural representations of spatial information are substrates for behaviors that range from simple limb movements and basic locomotion to sophisticated navigation through complex environments. The processing of different types of spatial information, including the storage and recall of related neural representations, is integral to the ability to navigate through and interact with the external environment. Finding food, shelter, and potential mates requires an animal to develop an understanding of the spatial relationships between itself and numerous objects and goals within its environment. Two forms of information necessary for spatial navigation are the knowledge of one’s location within an environment and directional heading, or orientation. This information is represented by neural activity distributed over several nuclei within the limbic system and neocortex. Furthermore, the ability to integrate, store, and recall these representations is essential for long-term survival strategies. This chapter discusses the neural representations of spatial location and orientation and how they can contribute to a spatial memory system.

Keywords

Entorhinal Cortex Place Cell Head Direction Spatial Navigation Head Direction Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel E. Brown
    • 1
  • Jeffrey S. Taube
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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