Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Spatial Orientation

  • Victoria D. ChamizoEmail author
  • Teresa Rodrigo
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1416-1



Spatial orientation refers to the ability of organisms to navigate. It is essential for their survival.


While navigating, we become familiar with an environment and acquire knowledge about it, thereby extracting information from it and storing this information in our memory so that we can recall it later for a variety of purposes (Ekstrom et al. 2018). Examples concerning rodents and humans will be presented since there is an important parallelism between them when dealing with spatial tasks. However, most of the examples will focus on how males and females differ when solving these tasks – on something that has recently been referred to as “qualitative” sex differences – thus counteracting the unjustified practice of ignoring females for so many years in psychological and biomedical research (for a review see Beery and Zucker 2011). To understand the sexually dimorphic...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cognition, Development and Educational Psychology, Institute of NeurosciencesUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.CCiTUB, Animal Research Unit of PsychologyUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

Section editors and affiliations

  • Khalil Iskarous
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA