Guest Lecture of Dr. Christian Döller

Guest Lecture of Dr. Christian Döller

from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience & Institute of Neurology, University College London, UK

Date and venue: 14.07.2010, 6 p.m., Seminar Room SRIIa, Building A2 4

Topic: Space, memory and neural representation


There has been considerable progress in identifying the specific characteristics of neural representations of space in rats, however their exact contribution to memory remains unknown. I will talk about experiments in which we use fMRI in humans navigating within virtual environments in conjunction with single unit recordings in freely-moving rats. We find evidence for spatial representations in human entorhinal cortex and hippocampus consistent with the firing of entorhinal grid cells and hippocampal place cells in rats. These representations further support spatial memory performance, with hippocampal learning occurring independent of reinforcement, a finding which is inconsistent with assumptions of modern learning theory. In sum, our approach might contribute to a more coherent understanding of brain function from neural representations to systems-level involvement in behaviour.