Skip Nav Destination
1-1 of 1
Follow your search
Access your saved searches in your account
Would you like to receive an alert when new items match your search?
An Important Step toward Understanding the Role of Body-based Cues on Human Spatial Memory for Large-Scale Environments
Publisher: Journals Gateway
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2021) 33 (2): 167–179.
Published: 01 February 2021
AbstractView article PDF
Moving our body through space is fundamental to human navigation; however, technical and physical limitations have hindered our ability to study the role of these body-based cues experimentally. We recently designed an experiment using novel immersive virtual-reality technology, which allowed us to tightly control the availability of body-based cues to determine how these cues influence human spatial memory [Huffman, D. J., & Ekstrom, A. D. A modality-independent network underlies the retrieval of large-scale spatial environments in the human brain. Neuron , 104 , 611–622, 2019]. Our analysis of behavior and fMRI data revealed a similar pattern of results across a range of body-based cues conditions, thus suggesting that participants likely relied primarily on vision to form and retrieve abstract, holistic representations of the large-scale environments in our experiment. We ended our paper by discussing a number of caveats and future directions for research on the role of body-based cues in human spatial memory. Here, we reiterate and expand on this discussion, and we use a commentary in this issue by A. Steel, C. E. Robertson, and J. S. Taube (Current promises and limitations of combined virtual reality and functional magnetic resonance imaging research in humans: A commentary on Huffman and Ekstrom (2019). Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience , 2020) as a helpful discussion point regarding some of the questions that we think will be the most interesting in the coming years. We highlight the exciting possibility of taking a more naturalistic approach to study the behavior, cognition, and neuroscience of navigation. Moreover, we share the hope that researchers who study navigation in humans and nonhuman animals will synergize to provide more rapid advancements in our understanding of cognition and the brain.