Published On: 21/01/2002|Categories: 1998–2002, Vol.23 (1), Vol.23 (2002)|


This paper is organized around three major areas: (i) First, we review a series of our own studies on spatial cognition of monkeys that had received hippocampal resections or fornix transactions in infancy and that appeared to have recovered from their initial deficit on a left-right spatial discrimination task. The results from our long-term follow up study of these monkeys showed that, in spite of their improved performance on left-right discrimination, and their facilitated spatial learning in the presence of allocentric landmarks, monkeys with hippocampal damage showed a profound impairment on the trial-unique position recognition task and on the recognition span task. (ii) A second major section is dedicated to present an overview of some experimental field studies on primate spatial learning and memory in ecological settings. Even though this section does not reflect the authors direct experience, we considered it of importance to provide the reader with findings obtained from this type of studies, which may serve as an important source of evidence for hypothesis development; and (iii) Finally, this paper includes a partial review of neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies on some of the parietal, temporal or frontal brain areas which have been implicated as subserving one or another mode of spatial cognition. Thus, rather than attempting to provide an exhaustive review, we have oriented this paper towards stimulating and capturing the interest of the reader with a sample of the wide array of approaches that can contribute to the study of spatial cognition in nonhuman primates.

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