Neural Correlates of Encoding Space from Route and Survey Perspectives

Amy Lynne Shelton, John D.E. Gabrieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


The neural mechanisms underlying ground-level spatial navigation have been investigated, but little is known about other kinds of spatial navigation. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to identify differences in brain activation for two types of spatial information, information from the ground-level perspective (route) and information from a global perspective (survey). Participants were scanned during the encoding of two different virtual reality environments, one from each perspective. Comparisons of brain activation during route and survey encoding suggested that both types of information recruited a common network of brain areas, but with important differences. Survey encoding recruited a subset of areas recruited by route encoding, but with greater activation in some areas, including inferior temporal cortex and posterior superior parietal cortex. Route encoding, in contrast, recruited regions that were not activated by survey encoding, including medial temporal lobe structures, anterior superior parietal cortex, and postcentral gyrus. These differences in brain activation are associated with differences in memory performance for the two types of spatial information and contribute to specification of brain components of spatial knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2711-2717
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional MRI
  • Medial temporal lobe
  • Memory
  • Navigation
  • Parietal cortex
  • Spatial representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Neural Correlates of Encoding Space from Route and Survey Perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this