How we remember landmarks so we don't get lost

3rd Aug 2020

Recently published in the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) journal, Brain and Neuroscience Advances, here's an article that looks at how the part of the brain's memory network is involved in remembering landmarks from both egocentric and allocentric perspectives.

When we navigate between locations within our environment we use landmarks to guide us and prevent ourselves from getting lost. These landmarks can either be used to guide egocentric navigation (turn left at the tree) or allocentric navigation (head north towards the sea). Recent studies have shown that both egocentric and allocentric space is represented within the brain and used not only to guide navigation but also to allow us to remember where things happened to us.

In their article, 'Lateral entorhinal cortex lesions impair both egocentric and allocentric object–place associations', Kuruvilla et al. (2020) examine how of part of the brain’s memory network, the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC), is involved in remembering landmarks from both egocentric and allocentric perspectives. They show that the LEC is critically important to allow rats to remember both the egocentric and allocentric positions of objects within an environment.

Interestingly, LEC is only required to remember the position of specific objects within our environment rather than providing general information about direction of travel. So, for instance, when you are trying to remember where you parked your car you will need your LEC to remember not only that it is on the north side of the building next to the supermarket (allocentric space), but also that you need to turn left when you leave the building to get there (egocentric space).

Click here to read the full article.

About Brain and Neuroscience Advances  

Brain and Neuroscience Advances is a peer-reviewed, open access journal, which publishes high quality translational and clinical articles from all neuroscience disciplines; including molecular, cellular, systems, behavioural and cognitive investigations.

The journal welcomes submissions in basic, translational and/or clinical neuroscience. Research papers should present novel, empirical results that are expected to be of interest to a broad spectrum of neuroscientists working in the laboratory, field or clinic. 

Brain and Neuroscience Advances is now indexed in PubMed Central.


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