From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Idiothetic literally means "self-proposition" (Greek derivation), and is used in navigation models (e.g., of a rat in a maze) to describe the use of self-motion cues, rather than allothetic, or external, cues such as landmarks, to determine position and movement. The word is sometimes also spelled "ideothetic" (e.g., Chen et al, 1994 [1]). Idiothetic cues include vestibular, optic flow and proprioception. Idiothetic cues are important for the type of navigation known as path integration[2][3] in which subjects navigate purely using such self-motion cues.

The term idiothetic is also used in personality psychology. Idiothetic psychology of personality suggests that personality description follows idiographic principles, while personality development centres around nomothetic principles.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chen, LL (1994). "Head-direction cells in the rat posterior cortex. II. Contributions of visual and ideothetic information to the directional firing". Exp Brain Res. 101 (1): 24–34. doi:10.1007/bf00243213. PMID 7843299. 
  2. ^ Mittelstaedt, H. and Mittelstaedt, M.-L. (1973). "Mechanismen der orientierung ohne richtende aussenreize." Fortschr. Zool. 21:46–58.
  3. ^ Mittelstaedt, M.-L. and Mittelstaedt, H. (1980). "Homing by path integration in a mammal." Naturwissenschaften 67:566–567.
  4. ^ Lamiell, J. T. (1981). Toward an idiothetic psychology of personality. American Psychologist, 36(3), 276–289.