August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Boundaries in space: A comparative approach
Author Affiliations
  • Sang Ah Lee
    Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 7. doi:
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      Sang Ah Lee; Boundaries in space: A comparative approach. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):7. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Spatial navigation provides a unique window into the evolutionary and developmental origins of complex behaviors and memory, due to its richness in representation and computation, its striking similarities between distantly related species, its neural specificity, and its transformation across human development. Environmental boundaries have been shown to play a crucial role in both neural and behavioral studies of spatial representation. In this talk, I will discuss evidence on boundary coding on three different levels: First, I will share my findings showing the primacy and specificity of visual representations of 3D environmental boundaries in early spatial navigation in children. Second, I will argue that the cognitive mechanisms underlying boundary representations are shared and widespread across the phylogenetic tree. Finally, I will bring together insights gathered from behavioral findings to investigate the neural underpinnings of boundary coding. From the firing of neurons in a navigating rats brain, to a childs developing understanding of abstract space, I will argue that boundary representation is a fundamental, evolutionarily ancient ability that serves as a basis for spatial cognition and behavior.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016


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