Today I found out that the brain is likely to encode the world in 2 dimensions.
The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to John O'Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain (an inner GPS).
Basically, you have two kinds of cells, place cells and grid cells.
When you're looking for a place using a map, you look for landmarks. Once in the street and as you pass the landmarks, enter the place cells which recognize your place in space.
But you also need a way to navigate and to do so, you need latitude and longitude. Enter the grid cells which helps you find your way and judge the distance.
More in-depth listen: http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/mind-map-2014-nobel-med-phys/.