Focus |

Focus on Spatial Cognition

  • Nature Neuroscience | Editorial

    This month, Nature Neuroscience presents a special issue featuring reviews and opinion pieces on the theme of spatial cognition.

  • Nature Neuroscience | Commentary

    Moser, Moser and McNaughton provide a historical overview describing how ideas about integration of self-motion cues have shaped our understanding of spatial representation in hippocampal–entorhinal systems, from the discovery of place cells in the 1970s to contemporary studies of spatial coding in intermingled and interacting cell types within complex circuits.

    • Edvard I Moser
    • , May-Britt Moser
    •  &  Bruce L McNaughton
  • Nature Neuroscience | Q&A

    The hippocampus serves a critical function in memory, navigation, and cognition. Nature Neuroscience asked John Lisman to lead a group of researchers in a dialog on shared and distinct viewpoints on the hippocampus.

    • John Lisman
    • , György Buzsáki
    • , Howard Eichenbaum
    • , Lynn Nadel
    • , Charan Ranganath
    •  &  A David Redish
  • Nature Neuroscience | Perspective

    Considerable progress has been made in understanding how the brain encodes our sense of direction. This Perspective considers the link between self-motion detection and navigation circuits and discusses future challenges for establishing the neural mechanisms responsible for sensing direction in both real-world and virtual-reality environments.

    • Kathleen E Cullen
    •  &  Jeffrey S Taube
  • Nature Neuroscience | Perspective

    In this Perspective, the authors propose that functional insights into generalist cortical computation may reside at the level of population patterns rather than functionally defined cell types. They then review results showing that medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) neurons exhibit substantial heterogeneity, suggesting MEC is a generalist circuit that computes diverse episodic states.

    • Kiah Hardcastle
    • , Surya Ganguli
    •  &  Lisa M Giocomo
  • Nature Neuroscience | Review Article

    Synaptic integration is critical for determining how information in the brain is encoded, stored and retrieved. The authors review roles for synaptic integrative mechanisms in the selection, generation and plasticity of spatially modulated firing, and in related temporal codes for representation of space.

    • Christoph Schmidt-Hieber
    •  &  Matthew F Nolan
  • Nature Neuroscience | Review Article

    Distinct processing of objects and space has been an organizing principle for studying higher-level vision and medial temporal lobe memory. Here Connor and Knierim discuss instead how spatial information, on both local and global scales, is deeply integrated into the ventral-temporal object-processing pathway in vision and memory.

    • Charles E Connor
    •  &  James J Knierim
  • Nature Neuroscience | Review Article

    Cognitive maps are internal representations of large-scale navigable spaces. While they have been long studied in rodents, recent work in humans reveals new insights into how cognitive maps are encoded, anchored to environmental landmarks and used to plan routes. Similar neural mechanisms might be used to form ‘maps’ of nonphysical spaces.

    • Russell A Epstein
    • , Eva Zita Patai
    • , Joshua B Julian
    •  &  Hugo J Spiers