Spatial navigation and memory are often seen as heavily intertwined at the cognitive and neural levels of analysis. We review models that hypothesize a central role for the medial temporal lobes, including the hippocampus, in both navigation and aspects of memory, particularly allocentric navigation and episodic memory. While these models have explanatory power in instances in which they overlap, they are limited in explaining functional and neuroanatomical differences. Focusing on human cognition, we explore the idea of navigation as a dynamically acquired skill and memory as an internally driven process, which may better account for the differences between the two. We also review network models of navigation and memory, which place a greater emphasis on connections rather than the functions of focal brain regions. These models, in turn, may have greater explanatory power for the differences between navigation and memory and the differing effects of brain lesions and age.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Neuroscience