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Publication Detail
Spotting the path that leads nowhere: Modulation of human theta and alpha oscillations induced by trajectory changes during navigation
  • Publication Type:
    Working discussion paper
  • Authors:
    Javadi A-H, Patai EZ, Margois A, Tan H-R, Kumaran D, Nardini M, Penny W, Duzel E, Dayan P, Spiers H
  • Publication date:
  • Status:
The capacity to take efficient detours and exploit novel shortcuts during navigation is thought to be supported by a cognitive map of the environment. Despite advances in understanding the neural basis of the cognitive map, little is known about the neural dynamics associated with detours and shortcuts. Here, we recorded magnetoencephalography from humans as they navigated a virtual desert island riven by shifting lava flows. The task probed their ability to take efficient detours and shortcuts to remembered goals. We report modulation in event-related fields and theta power as participants identified real shortcuts and differentiated these from false shortcuts that led along suboptimal paths. Additionally, we found that a decrease in alpha power preceded ‘back-tracking’ where participants spontaneously turned back along a previous path. These findings help advance our understanding of the fine-grained temporal dynamics of human brain activity during navigation and support the development of models of brain networks that support navigation.
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