Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Behav. 2016 Oct 3;6(12):e00572. doi: 10.1002/brb3.572. eCollection 2016 Dec.

Structural and functional neural correlates of spatial navigation: a combined voxel-based morphometry and functional connectivity study.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research Beijing Normal University Beijing China.
2
Department of Psychology Tsinghua University Beijing China.
3
Department of Psychology Renmin University of China Beijing China.
4
Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology School of Psychology Beijing Normal University Beijing China.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Navigation is a fundamental and multidimensional cognitive function that individuals rely on to move around the environment. In this study, we investigated the neural basis of human spatial navigation ability.

METHODS:

A large cohort of participants (> 200) was examined on their navigation ability behaviorally and structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were then used to explore the corresponding neural basis of spatial navigation.

RESULTS:

The gray matter volume (GMV) of the bilateral parahippocampus (PHG), retrosplenial complex (RSC), entorhinal cortex (EC), hippocampus (HPC), and thalamus (THAL) was correlated with the participants' self-reported navigational ability in general, and their sense of direction in particular. Further fMRI studies showed that the PHG, RSC, and EC selectively responded to visually presented scenes, whereas the HPC and THAL showed no selectivity, suggesting a functional division of labor among these regions in spatial navigation. The resting-state functional connectivity analysis further revealed a hierarchical neural network for navigation constituted by these regions, which can be further categorized into three relatively independent components (i.e., scene recognition component, cognitive map component, and the component of heading direction for locomotion, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study combined multi-modality imaging data to illustrate that multiple brain regions may work collaboratively to extract, integrate, store, and orientate spatial information to guide navigation behaviors.

KEYWORDS:

cognitive map; heading direction; hierarchical brain network; scene perception; spatial navigation; voxel‐based morphometry

PMID:
28031996
PMCID:
PMC5166998
DOI:
10.1002/brb3.572
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center