Failing to appreciate doors, and other mysteries of brain space

neglect drawingsMore brains!

Yesterday I blogged about my new article in the Times about a new theory of consciousness. Today my latest column about the brain is posted at Discover’s web site. I take a look this month at space. One of the most fascinating ways the brain can go awry is known as spatial neglect, in which people simply ignore part of the world around them. (These drawings were made by people suffering from one form of spatial neglect.)

In my column, I look at recent research that uses these kinds of failings to figure out how we build our perception of space in the first place. Check it out!

[Image: Nature]

0 thoughts on “Failing to appreciate doors, and other mysteries of brain space

  1. Most studies of “allocentric” space focus on the hippocampal formation. In my reading of the cited articles (although its not very clear) the “allocentric” space of “allocentric neglect” is the space within an object. Presumably, this is part of the “ventral stream” of visual processing where object recognition is thought to occur. Within-object space seems like a small slice of spatial processing. (It’s also not clear to me what the “right” side of an object is, if its not egocentrically defined).

    Hippocampal “allocentric” processing refers to navigational space. Place cells, head-direction cells and grid cells, are found in and around the hippocampal formation, All appear to be allocentric representations of the space in an environment, the spatial frame for navigation. Rats, monkeys and humans with lesions in or near the hippocampal formation have great difficulty with tasks involving navigational space.

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