HOW HUMANS ENCODE, REPRESENT AND USE BASIC SPATIAL.. (MapSpace)
HOW HUMANS ENCODE, REPRESENT AND USE BASIC SPATIAL INFORMATION IN PERCEPTION AND ACTION: BEHAVIORAL AND NEURAL EVIDENCE
Date du début: 1 juin 2014,
Date de fin: 31 mai 2016
The two years Fellowship project proposes a systematic investigation of the relationship between two basic processes of spatial cognition: egocentric and allocentric frames of reference and categorical and coordinate spatial relations. In particular, the project aims at: (i) clarifying the neural bases of the relationships between egocentric and allocentric frames and categorical and coordinate spatial coding; (ii) verifying behaviorally and with neuroimaging techniques the influence of the response modalities (verbal vs. motor) and task characteristics (3D vs. 2D stimuli; delayed vs. immediate response) on the relationship between the two kinds of spatial coding. These objectives will be achieved through a series of original experiments based on behavioral measures and neuroimaging techniques (fMRI). The experimental paradigm will explicitly manipulate the spatial combinations by requiring the encoding of metric distances (coordinate) or relational (categorical) spatial information with respect to the participants’ body (egocentric) or with respect to objects in the environment (allocentric). The planned experiments will allow to understand how people encode, combine and use spatial information to perform different kinds of everyday tasks. The exploration of the neural bases will contribute to clarify the controversial role of frames of reference and spatial relations in neuronal networks supporting perception- and/or action-oriented tasks. The project, then, will allow significant advances in the domain of spatial cognition both theoretically (by verifying acknowledged models) and practically (by devising specific spatial tasks useful for diagnosis of several disturbs due to pathological ageing and brain lesions and cognitive rehabilitation).Finally, the different experimental tools planned to achieve the proposed objectives (from behavioral methods to fMRI techniques) and the training activities will enhance the applicant’s competences and skills.
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