The Importance Of Spatial Memory

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Spatial memory is the part of memory responsible for recording information about an environment and spatial orientation. For humans, spatial navigation ability is indispensable for our daily life, finding our ways in complex environments, planning routes to somewhere, and remembering where home, office, and supermarket is, all of these rely on representations of the large-scale spatial structure of the world. Spatial memory includes the ability to remember the spatial layout of environments, to remember the locations of objects, and to know your own location in the environment. It is a complex neuromechanism which includes encoding, storing, and retrieving spatial information. Spatial navigation ability is widely different among Humans, in this thesis we plan to investigate the relationship between individual brain structure difference and the spatial memory. In this purpose, we will first explain what spatial navigation is, including the cognitive map, spatial representation and navigation strategies, then introduce the neuronal mechanism of spatial cognition.
1.1. Cognitive map theory
The cognitive map is a kind of mental representation which allows us to build “bird 's-eye view” of the environment in our mind. It was first defined by Edward Tolman (1948), Tolman inferred the existence of cognitive maps by recording the spatial behavior of running rats through a maze that offered food at the end, he noticed that rats can quickly learn their way around mazes, making fewer

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