Males and females use different distal cues in a virtual environment navigation task.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

The study of navigational ability in humans is often limited by the restricted availability and inconvenience of using large novel environments. In the present study we use a computer-generated virtual environment to study sex differences in human spatial navigation. Adult male and female participants navigated through a virtual water maze where both landmarks and room geometry were available as distal cues. Manipulation of environmental characteristics revealed that females rely predominantly on landmark information, while males more readily use both landmark and geometric information. We discuss these results as a possible link between recent human research reporting hippocampal activation in spatial tasks and animal work showing sex differences in both spatial ability and hippocampal development.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sandstrom, NJ; Kaufman, J; Huettel, SA

Published Date

  • April 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 351 - 360

PubMed ID

  • 9593991

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0926-6410

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0926-6410(98)00002-0


  • eng