ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (2): 192-201.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00192

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Spatial Reference Frames’ Generating Mechanism and Relationship with Cognitive Function

LI Yingwu;YU Zhou;HAN Xiao   

  1. (Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China)
  • Received:2014-04-04 Online:2015-02-14 Published:2015-02-14
  • Contact: LI Yingwu, E-mail:; YU Zhou, E-mail:


Spatial cognitive is based on spatial reference frames. The spatial reference frame is the means of representing the spatial location of entities in space, and can be divided into egocentric reference frame and allocentric reference frame. Long-term continuous activation of a certain reference frame form the preference of this spatial reference frame, and can affect not only the individual neuron structure, but also the cognitive function, such as attention, orientation and memory. The preference for egocentric reference frame can increases the gray matter in the hippocampus and nearby regions, while the preference for allocentric reference frame can increase the gray matter of the caudate nuclei. The increase of gray matter in the hippocampus will enhance spatial memory. Constant activation of egocentric reference frame can increase the gray matter in the hippocampus, thus reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. Future research should focus on the influences of regional and rural-urban environmental differences on the relationship between the spatial reference frame and cognitive function. Also, further collection of empirical evidences for the intervention effects of space reference frame training on Alzheimer’s patients is recommended

Key words: spatial reference frame, generating mechanism, cognitive function, Alzheimer’s disease