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Navigating in a three-dimensional world


Jeffery, Kathryn J; Jovalekic, Aleksandar; Verriotis, Madeleine; Hayman, Robin (2013). Navigating in a three-dimensional world. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36(5):523-543.

Abstract

The study of spatial cognition has provided considerable insight into how animals (including humans) navigate on the horizontal plane. However, the real world is three-dimensional, having a complex topography including both horizontal and vertical features, which presents additional challenges for representation and navigation. The present article reviews the emerging behavioral and neurobiological literature on spatial cognition in non-horizontal environments. We suggest that three-dimensional spaces are represented in a quasi-planar fashion, with space in the plane of locomotion being computed separately and represented differently from space in the orthogonal axis – a representational structure we have termed “bicoded.” We argue that the mammalian spatial representation in surface-travelling animals comprises a mosaic of these locally planar fragments, rather than a fully integrated volumetric map. More generally, this may be true even for species that can move freely in all three dimensions, such as birds and fish. We outline the evidence supporting this view, together with the adaptive advantages of such a scheme.

Abstract

The study of spatial cognition has provided considerable insight into how animals (including humans) navigate on the horizontal plane. However, the real world is three-dimensional, having a complex topography including both horizontal and vertical features, which presents additional challenges for representation and navigation. The present article reviews the emerging behavioral and neurobiological literature on spatial cognition in non-horizontal environments. We suggest that three-dimensional spaces are represented in a quasi-planar fashion, with space in the plane of locomotion being computed separately and represented differently from space in the orthogonal axis – a representational structure we have termed “bicoded.” We argue that the mammalian spatial representation in surface-travelling animals comprises a mosaic of these locally planar fragments, rather than a fully integrated volumetric map. More generally, this may be true even for species that can move freely in all three dimensions, such as birds and fish. We outline the evidence supporting this view, together with the adaptive advantages of such a scheme.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Life Sciences > Physiology
Life Sciences > Behavioral Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 October 2013
Deposited On:22 Oct 2018 15:37
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 02:03
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0140-525X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/s0140525x12002476
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicencecambridge101017S0140525X12002476 (Library Catalogue)
PubMed ID:24103594

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