Topographical Disorientation: Clinical and Theoretical Significance of Long-Lasting Improvements Following Imagery-Based Training

Maddalena Boccia, Alessia Bonavita, Sofia Diana, Antonella Di Vita, Maria Paola Ciurli, Cecilia Guariglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Neuropsychological studies on acquired topographical disorientation have provided useful insights into the contribution of different brain regions to human navigation. However, little is known about the possibility to restore navigational skills after brain damage. Here we describe the case of No Longer Lost (NLL), a 49-year-old man who complained of severe topographical disorientation following traumatic brain injury. Extensive neuropsychological evaluation at baseline revealed selective episodic memory deficits and topographical disorientation. NLL underwent 8-week imagery-based treatment (IBT) inspired by current cognitive models of human spatial navigation. After IBT, NLL improved topographical skills and episodic memory. From a clinical point of view, the present study describes a model-based intervention for topographical disorientation. From a theoretical point of view, it provides new insights into the cognitive models of human spatial navigation and straightforward evidence about common phylogenetic roots of brain mechanisms devoted to spatial navigation and memory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number322
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - Sep 20 2019



  • acquired topographical disorientation
  • brain damage
  • episodic memory
  • spatial navigation
  • topographical memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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