Finding Our Way

Barbara Landau and James E. Hoffman

in Spatial Representation

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195385373
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979189 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Series in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Finding Our Way

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This chapter discusses navigation when people are oriented and when they have become disoriented and must reorient themselves before re-locating an object, suggesting that there may be significant differences in the WS ability to navigate under these two different circumstances. When people with WS remain oriented, they can keep track of an object's location by using reference systems centered on their own body or on landmarks in the surrounding room layout. These capacities are similar to those that are acquired by normally developing children by around age 4 or 5. However, when they must reorient themselves after being disoriented, people with WS show a fragile ability to use geometric properties of the surrounding layout. The degree of fragility for this function is still under study, but the patterns of WS performance compared to normally developing children suggest that the trajectory for this reorientation function may be quite different in the two groups.

Keywords: navigation; cognitive map; reorientation; medial temporal lobe; geometry of layouts; allocentric; geocentric; egocentric; landmarks; disorientation; parahippocampus

Chapter.  13993 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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