Thursday, November 24, 2022

From cognitive maps to spatial schemas

Abstract of the linked article:

A schema refers to a structured body of prior knowledge that captures common patterns across related experiences. Schemas have been studied separately in the realms of episodic memory and spatial navigation across different species and have been grounded in theories of memory consolidation, but there has been little attempt to integrate our understanding across domains, particularly in humans. We propose that experiences during navigation with many similarly structured environments give rise to the formation of spatial schemas (for example, the expected layout of modern cities) that share properties with but are distinct from cognitive maps (for example, the memory of a modern city) and event schemas (such as expected events in a modern city) at both cognitive and neural levels. We describe earlier theoretical frameworks and empirical findings relevant to spatial schemas, along with more targeted investigations of spatial schemas in human and non-human animals. Consideration of architecture and urban analytics, including the influence of scale and regionalization, on different properties of spatial schemas may provide a powerful approach to advance our understanding of spatial schemas.

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