In a new perspective piece in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, UF neuroscientist Andrew Maurer, Ph.D., and University of Arizona psychologist Lynn Nadel, Ph.D., highlight the role of the hippocampus in spatial cognition and episodic memory.
“Spatial cognition” is the study of how humans take in and use knowledge of their environment to assess location, get resources and find the way home. “Episodic memory” is the ability to remember personally experienced events linked with a particular time and place.
“Tracking moment-to-moment change in input and detecting change sufficient to require altering behavior is crucial to survival,” the authors write. “We discuss how the brain evaluates change over time, focusing on hippocampus and its role in tracking context.”