Mammalian brain knows where it’s at

A place for everything

Door open left rear; table left; glass fish on first shelf: In rats, the postrhinal cortex keeps track of places and objects and sends other parts of the brain vital positioning information. “The POR,” Rebecca Burwell says, “is not just a relay station for spatial information.” Credit: David Orenstein/Brown University

A new study in the journal Neuron suggests that the brain uses a different region than neuroscientists had thought to associate objects and locations in the space around an individual. Knowing where this fundamental process occurs could help treat disease and brain injury as well as inform basic understanding of how the brain supports memory and guides behavior.