Spatial memory and animal movement



Memory is critical to understanding animal movement but has proven challenging to study. Advances in animal tracking technology, theoretical movement models and cognitive sciences have facilitated research in each of these fields, but also created a need for synthetic examination of the linkages between memory and animal movement. Here, we draw together research from several disciplines to understand the relationship between animal memory and movement processes. First, we frame the problem in terms of the characteristics, costs and benefits of memory as outlined in psychology and neuroscience. Next, we provide an overview of the theories and conceptual frameworks that have emerged from behavioural ecology and animal cognition. Third, we turn to movement ecology and summarise recent, rapid developments in the types and quantities of available movement data, and in the statistical measures applicable to such data. Fourth, we discuss the advantages and interrelationships of diverse modelling approaches that have been used to explore the memory–movement interface. Finally, we outline key research challenges for the memory and movement communities, focusing on data needs and mathematical and computational challenges. We conclude with a roadmap for future work in this area, outlining axes along which focused research should yield rapid progress.