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Publications [#287876] of Jennifer M. Groh

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Books

  1. Groh, JM (Anticipated Fall 2014). Making Space: How the Brain Knows Where Things Are.. Harvard University Press. [catalog.php]
    (last updated on 2018/07/16)

    Abstract:
    The book is about how the brain creates our sense of spatial location from a variety of sensory and motor sources, and how this spatial sense in turn shapes our cognitive abilities. Knowing where things are is effortless. But “under the hood”, your brain devotes a tremendous amount of computational power to figuring out even the simplest of details about the world around you and your position in it. Recognizing your mother, finding your phone, going to the grocery store, playing the banjo – these require careful sleuthing and coordination across different sensory and motor domains. The book traces the brain’s detective work to create this sense of space and argues that the brain’s spatial focus permeates our cognitive abilities, affecting the way we think and remember. The book begins by tracing the link from patterns of light in the world to the brain's deductions regarding objects, boundaries, and visual space in three dimensions. Later chapters outline similar neural deductions regarding sound location, body posture, balance, and movement, and how such information is synthesized to allow us to navigate through space. The final two chapters of the book consider how the brain's spatial representations do "double duty" to aid in memory and other types of mental activity such as thinking and reasoning.


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