The influence of context and strategy on spatial task performance

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Zelinski, Erin Lynn
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : Department of Neuroscience
This thesis examines naturally occurring variability in the performance of spatial tasks in order to shed light on the neurobiology that underpins human experience. It tests the theory that differences in performance of spatial tasks are an emergent property of differences in how contextual information is interpreted and the strategy implemented during task performance. Results indicate that enhanced performance accuracy in males may reflect the use of a more topographically tuned strategy rather than better spatial ability than females per se. Males and females may have different pressures leading to tendencies to rely more often on particular strategies, but this does not mean that generally one group is better than the other. Differential recruitment of lateral and medial entorhinal cortex and the nature of the information processed therein and in afferent regions of hippocampus may be what drives the differences in spatial accuracy and strategy implementation between males and females.
contextual information interpretation , human experience , sex differences , spatial abilities , spatial task performance , strategy selection