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NIH media coverage “Scientists discover how our brains track where we and others go”

National Institutes of Health

For the first time, scientists have recorded how our brains navigate physical space and keep track of others’ location. Researchers used a special backpack to wirelessly monitor the brain waves of epilepsy patients as each one walked around an empty room hunting for a hidden, two-foot spot. In an article published in Nature, the scientists report that the waves flowed in a distinct pattern suggesting that each individual’s brain had mapped out the walls and other boundaries. Interestingly, each participant’s brain waves flowed in a similar manner when they sat in the corner of the room and watched someone else walk around, suggesting these waves were also used to track other people’s movements. The study was part of the NIH’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative.