Visuo-vestibular and somesthetic contributions to spatial navigation in children and adults

Irini Giannopulu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The development of spatial navigation is one of the most intriguing stories of the contemporary cognitive neuroscience. It is assisted by the information given from multiple modalities. Infant’s visual development is characterized by critical periods in many notable visual functions. The maturation of ventral and dorsal systems authorise them to transform visual information into cognitive representations associated with object’s recognition and location in the egocentric space all along static and dynamic motion activities. Together with the visual information, bilateral vestibular organisation not only contribues to the equilibrioception in three axis (sagittal, vertical, and lateral) at cortical and subcortical levels, but it is directly and indirectly involved in internal representation of the body, navigation, memory and orientation. In our context, the internal representation of the body in space is thought as an egocentric reference providing spatial navigation and orientation. Multimodal visuomotor, vestibular and somesthetic (proprioceptive and exteroceptive-haptic) abilities give children and adults in extension the possibility to explore actively or passively the space. Cognitive factors potentially influence ego motion in children and in adults. Attentional factors and memory process specially those associated with visuospatial working memory are decisive elements of ego motion in real as well as in virtual environments. In the absence of visual information, blind individuals rely more on vestibular and somesthetic feedback for ego motion control than do sighted subjects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMobility of Visually Impaired People
Subtitle of host publicationFundamentals and ICT Assistive Technologies
EditorsE Pissaloux, R Velazquez
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9783319544465
ISBN (Print)9783319544441
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Visuo-vestibular and somesthetic contributions to spatial navigation in children and adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this