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March 2015

Discovering the Brain’s Cognitive Map

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(3):257-258. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.4141

Identifying our position in space is critical for navigation, and also for our ability to form memories of behavioral episodes, because these occur in a specific time and place. Understanding the neuronal mechanisms underlying these abilities has been an enduring question in neuroscience: how do our brains combine external sensory information with internal self-motion cues to produce a circuit-level representation of spatial location, and how are these representations used to help us understand where we are and to allow us to successfully navigate through our environment?