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Main Title: Brain connectivity during encoding and retrieval of spatial information: individual differences in navigation skills
Author(s): Sharma, Greeshma
Gramann, Klaus
Chandra, Sushil
Singh, Vijander
Mittal, Alok Prakash
Type: Article
Language Code: en
Abstract: Emerging evidence suggests that the variations in the ability to navigate through any real or virtual environment are accompanied by distinct underlying cortical activations in multiple regions of the brain. These activations may appear due to the use of different frame of reference (FOR) for representing an environment. The present study investigated the brain dynamics in the good and bad navigators using Graph Theoretical analysis applied to low-density electroencephalography (EEG) data. Individual navigation skills were rated according to the performance in a virtual reality (VR)-based navigation task and the effect of navigator's proclivity towards a particular FOR on the navigation performance was explored. Participants were introduced to a novel virtual environment that they learned from a first-person or an aerial perspective and were subsequently assessed on the basis of efficiency with which they learnt and recalled. The graph theoretical parameters, path length (PL), global efficiency (GE), and clustering coefficient (CC) were computed for the functional connectivity network in the theta and alpha frequency bands. During acquisition of the spatial information, good navigators were distinguished by a lower degree of dispersion in the functional connectivity compared to the bad navigators. Within the groups of good and bad navigators, better performers were characterised by the formation of multiple hubs at various sites and the percentage of connectivity or small world index. The proclivity towards a specific FOR during exploration of a new environment was not found to have any bearing on the spatial learning. These findings may have wider implications for how the functional connectivity in the good and bad navigators differs during spatial information acquisition and retrieval in the domains of rescue operations and defence systems.
Issue Date: 2017
Date Available: 28-Aug-2017
Subject(s): spatial navigation
spatial memory
brain connectivity
reference frame proclivity
graph theory
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Journal Title: Brain Informatics
Publisher: Springer
Publisher Place: Heidelberg
Volume: 4
Issue: 3
Publisher DOI: 10.1007/s40708-017-0066-6
Page Start: 207
Page End: 217
EISSN: 2198-4026
ISSN: 2198-4018
Appears in Collections:Technische Universität Berlin » Fakultäten & Zentralinstitute » Fakultät 5 Verkehrs- und Maschinensysteme » Institut für Psychologie und Arbeitswissenschaft » Fachgebiet Biopsychologie und Neuroergonomie » Publications

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