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Allocentric and egocentric updating of spatial memories

This is how people encode many entities from varying ontological levels, such as the location of a stapler; in a desk; which is in the office .. One can recall from only one at region at a time (a bottleneck).

A bottleneck in a person's cognitive navigational system could be disastrous, for instance if there were need for a sudden detour on a long road trip.

Research into the exact function of the visuo-spatial sketchpad has indicated that both spatial short-term memory and working memory are dependent on executive resources and are not entirely distinct.

For instance, performance on a working memory but not on a short-term memory task was affected by articulatory suppression suggesting that impairment on the spatial task was caused by the concurrent performance on a task that had extensive use of executive resources.

In cognitive psychology and neuroscience, spatial memory is the part of memory responsible for recording information about one's environment and spatial orientation.

For example, a person's spatial memory is required in order to navigate around a familiar city, just as a rat's spatial memory is needed to learn the location of food at the end of a maze.

Boundaries, though, are not the only determinants of layout.

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That is to say that people remember the general layout of a particular space and then "cue target locations" located within that spatial set.Thankfully, technological leaps have opened a new, albeit virtual, world to psychologists.A cognitive map is "a mental model of objects' spatial configuration that permits navigation along optimal path between arbitrary pairs of points." This mental map is built upon two fundamental bedrocks: layout, also known as route knowledge, and landmark orientation.for instance, allowing someone to navigate through a familiar city.Spatial memories are said to form after a person has already gathered and processed sensory information about her or his environment.Layout is potentially the first method of navigation that people learn to utilize; its workings reflect our most basic understandings of the world.Hermer and Spelke (1994) determined that when toddlers begin to walk, around eighteen months, they navigate by their sense of the world's layout.Recollection of spatial details is a top-down procedure that requires an individual to recall the superordinate features of a cognitive map, followed by the ordinate and subordinate features.Thus, two spatial features are prominent in navigating a path: general layout and landmark orienting (Kahana et al., 2006).Research indicates that there are specific areas of the brain associated with spatial memory.Many methods are used for measuring spatial memory in children, adults, and animals.


  1. Allocentric and Egocentric Updating of Spatial Memories Weimin Mou Chinese Academy of Sciences Timothy P. McNamara, Christine M. Valiquette, and Bjo¨rn Rump

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