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Patrick Byrne, Suzanna Becker, and Neil Burgess (2007)

Remembering the past and imagining the future

Psychological Review, 114(2):340-375.

The neural mechanisms underlying spatial cognition are modelled, integrating neuronal, systems and behavioural data, and addressing the relationships between long-term memory, short-term memory and imagery, and between egocentric and allocentric and visual and idiothetic representations. Long-term spatial memory is modeled as attractor dynamics within medial-temporal allocentric representations, and short-term memory as egocentric parietal representations driven by perception, retrieval and imagery, and modulated by directed attention. Both encoding and retrieval/ imagery require translation between egocentric and allocentric representations, mediated by posterior parietal and retrosplenial areas and utilizing head direction representations in Papez’s circuit. Thus hippocampus effectively indexes information by real or imagined location, while Papez’s circuit translates to imagery or from perception according to the direction of view. Modulation of this translation by motor efference allows “spatial updating” of representations, while prefrontal simulated motor efference allows mental exploration. The alternating temporo-parietal flows of information are organized by the theta rhythm. Simulations demonstrate the retrieval and updating of familiar spatial scenes, hemispatial neglect in memory, and the effects on hippocampal place cell firing of lesioned head direction representations and of conflicting visual and ideothetic inputs.

navigation, hippocampus, computational modelling, path integration