ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2010, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (8): 1208-1221.

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The Mechanism of Sense of Direction and Its Modulating Factors

XU Qin;LUO Yu;LIU Jia   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University Beijing, 100875, China
  • Received:2009-06-06 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2010-08-15 Published:2010-08-15
  • Contact: LUO Yu

Abstract: Sense of direction is the ability to locate current position, to determine the direction to destination, and to choose right route. This ability is closely related with not only people’s daily life but also the development of aeronautics. Sense of direction consists of three cognitive processes: information input, internal representation and information integration. A cognitive model is presented to illustrate the whole process of sense of direction. The neural mechanism of sense of direction is discussed by summarizing behavioral and neuroimaging studies of normal and brain-damaged patients. A neural network structure is set to incorporate those findings. Moreover, after examining the influences from environment, training and inheritance on sense of direction, candidate genes for sense of direction in human are suggested. Future researches will be benefited from the genetic neuroimaging.

Key words: sense of direction, cognitive map, spatial representation, genetic neuroimaging