Interacting networks of brain regions underlie human spatial navigation: a review and novel synthesis of the literature

Arne D. Ekstrom, Derek J. Huffman, Michael Starrett
2017 Journal of Neurophysiology  
Ekstrom AD, Huffman DJ, Starrett M. Interacting networks of brain regions underlie human spatial navigation: a review and novel synthesis of the literature. Navigation is an inherently dynamic and multimodal process, making isolation of the unique cognitive components underlying it challenging. The assumptions of much of the literature on human spatial navigation are that 1) spatial navigation involves modality independent, discrete metric representations (i.e., egocentric vs. allocentric), 2)
more » ... . allocentric), 2) such representations can be further distilled to elemental cognitive processes, and 3) these cognitive processes can be ascribed to unique brain regions. We argue that modality-independent spatial representations, instead of providing exact metrics about our surrounding environment, more often involve heuristics for estimating spatial topology useful to the current task at hand. We also argue that egocentric (body centered) and allocentric (world centered) representations are better conceptualized as involving a continuum rather than as discrete. We propose a neural model to accommodate these ideas, arguing that such representations also involve a continuum of network interactions centered on retrosplenial and posterior parietal cortex, respectively. Our model thus helps explain both behavioral and neural findings otherwise difficult to account for with classic models of spatial navigation and memory, providing a testable framework for novel experiments. electrical stimulation of the human entorhinal region and hippocampus impairs memory. Neuron 92: 983-990, 2016. Brown MW, Aggleton JP. Fos imaging reveals that lesions of the anterior thalamic nuclei produce widespread limbic hypoactivity in rats. J Neurosci 22: 5230 -5238, 2002b. Jenkins TA, Vann SD, Amin E, Aggleton JP. Anterior thalamic lesions stop immediate early gene activation in selective laminae of the retrosplenial cortex: evidence of covert pathology in rats? Borgesius NZ, Roudi Y, Kentros CG. A novel mechanism for the gridto-place cell transformation revealed by transgenic depolarization of medial entorhinal cortex layer II. . Kesner RP, Farnsworth G, DiMattia BV. Double dissociation of egocentric and allocentric space following medial prefrontal and parietal cortex lesions in the rat. Behav Neurosci 103: 956 -961, 1989. doi:10.1037/0735-7044.103.5.956. Kim K, Ekstrom AD, Tandon N. A network approach for modulating memory processes via direct and indirect brain stimulation: toward a causal approach for the neural basis of memory.
doi:10.1152/jn.00531.2017 pmid:28931613 fatcat:25o4xtyzujhjvnodk7r6vij6im