Title

Spatial Representation Across Species: Geometry, Language, and Maps

Document Type

Review Article

Publication Date

2-1-2009

Abstract

We review growing evidence that the reorientation system - shared by both humans and nonhuman species - privileges geometric representations of space and exhibits many of the characteristic features of modular systems. We also review evidence showing that humans can move beyond the limits of nonhuman species by using two cultural constructions, language and explicit maps. We argue that, although both of these constructions are uniquely human means of enriching the spatial system we share with other species, their representational formats, functions, and developmental trajectories are quite different, yielding distinctly different tools for empowering human spatial cognition.The capacity to reorient using geometry is present in humans by the age of 18 months.

DOI

10.1016/j.conb.2009.02.001

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