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Navigation through Spatial Layout

Navigation is a nearly universal behavior for humans. It can take us from our hometown to Machu Picchu, and from across the room to our bed in the dark. To navigate means to plan and execute travel through a spatial layout. It often entails keeping track of our position and orientation as we move, and the ability to figure out where we are if we become lost. The “normal” range of human navigation ability is broad—some people learn new environments quickly and never seem to get lost, whereas others become disoriented easily, even in familiar places. This entry summarizes what is known about the psychological and neural aspects of navigation.

Psychological Aspects

Navigating over large distances is a complex process, sometimes requiring specialized instruments, maps, charts, or ...

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