The retrosplenial-parietal network and reference frame coordination for spatial navigation.

The retrosplenial cortex is anatomically positioned to integrate sensory, motor, and visual information and is thought to have an important role in processing spatial information and guiding behavior through complex environments. Anatomical and theoretical work has argued that the retrosplenial cortex participates in spatial behavior in concert with input from the parietal cortex. Although the nature of these interactions is unknown, a central position is that the functional connectivity is hierarchical with egocentric spatial information processed in the parietal cortex and higher-level allocentric mappings generated in the retrosplenial cortex. Here, we review the evidence supporting this proposal. We begin by summarizing the key anatomical features of the retrosplenial-parietal network, and then review studies investigating the neural correlates of these regions during spatial behavior. Our summary of this literature suggests that the retrosplenial-parietal circuitry does not represent a strict hierarchical parcellation of function between the two regions but instead a heterogeneous mixture of egocentric-allocentric coding and integration across frames of reference. We also suggest that this circuitry should be represented as a gradient of egocentric-to-allocentric information processing from parietal to retrosplenial cortices, with more specialized encoding of global allocentric frameworks within the retrosplenial cortex and more specialized egocentric and local allocentric representations in parietal cortex. We conclude by identifying the major gaps in this literature and suggest new avenues of research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)