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Animals navigate through three-dimensional environments, but we argue that the way they encode three-dimensional spatial information is shaped by how they use the vertical component of space. We agree with Jeffery et al. that the representation of three-dimensional space in vertebrates is probably bicoded (with separation of the plane of locomotion and its orthogonal axis), but we believe that their suggestion that the vertical axis is stored "contextually" (that is, not containing distance or direction metrics usable for novel computations) is unlikely, and as yet unsupported. We describe potential experimental protocols that could clarify these differences in opinion empirically.

Original publication




Journal article


Behav Brain Sci

Publication Date





546 - 547


Animals, Cognition, Humans, Models, Neurological, Space Perception, Spatial Behavior