How the Brain's Navigation System Shapes Our Visual Experience
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionTrends in Cognitive Sciences. 2018, 22 (9), 810-825. 10.1016/j.tics.2018.06.008
We explore the environment not only by navigating, but also by viewing our surroundings with our eyes. Here we review growing evidence that the mammalian hippocampal formation, extensively studied in the context of navigation and memory, mediates a representation of visual space that is stably anchored to the external world. This visual representation puts the hippocampal formation in a central position to guide viewing behavior and to modulate visual processing beyond the medial temporal lobe (MTL). We suggest that vision and navigation share several key computational challenges that are solved by overlapping and potentially common neural systems, making vision an optimal domain to explore whether and how the MTL supports cognitive operations beyond navigation.