Spatial orientation is a complex cognitive process requiring the integration of information processed in a distributed system of brain regions. Current models on the neural basis of spatial orientation are based primarily on the functional role of single brain regions, with limited understanding of how interaction among these brain regions relates to behavior. In this study, we investigated two sources of variability in the neural networks that support spatial orientation—network configuration and efficiency—and assessed whether variability in these topological properties relates to individual differences in orientation accuracy. Participants with higher accuracy were shown to express greater activity in the right supramarginal gyrus, the right precentral cortex, and the left hippocampus, over and above a core network engaged by the whole group. Additionally, high-performing individuals had increased levels of global efficiency within a resting-state network composed of brain regions engaged during orientation and increased levels of node centrality in the right supramarginal gyrus, the right primary motor cortex, and the left hippocampus. These results indicate that individual differences in the configuration of task-related networks and their efficiency measured at rest relate to the ability to spatially orient. Our findings advance systems neuroscience models of orientation and navigation by providing insight into the role of functional integration in shaping orientation behavior.

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