The cognitive sequelae of hydrocephalus have mostly been explored with standardised clinical tasks. The aim of the present research was determine whether impairments on these abstract tasks extend to everyday spatial and navigational behaviour. Patients with hydrocephalus, but without spina bifida, were compared to a control group on tests of searching behaviour, landmark memory, route learning, and path integration. Participants with hydrocephalus displayed reduced sensitivity to spatial cueing, less accurate route-learning, and significantly less accurate spatial updating. These data represent an important empirical demonstration of spatial navigational impairments due to hydrocephalus outside of the context of spina bifida. We discuss some of the cognitive, neural, and individual differences factors that might contribute to this particular pattern of impairments.
- spatial cognition