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Digital colloquium Space for Cognition


On Jan 20th (Wed) at 12:40 to 14:00 the Chair of Lifespan Developmental Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology, TU Dresden will host a digital colloquium.

Title of the talk: Space for Cognition

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Christian Doeller
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.
Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience & Jebsen Centre for Alzheimer’s Disease NTNU, Trondheim, Norway.

You are most cordially invited to attend this colloquium!

Please email: sebastian.knauff1@tu-dresden.de before 11:00 on 20.01.2021 for access link to the digital colloquium.


The fundamental question in cognitive neuroscience—what are the key coding principles of the brain enabling human thinking—still remains largely unanswered. Evidence from neurophysiology suggests that place and grid cells in the hippocampal-entorhinal system provide an internal spatial map, the brain’s SatNav—the most intriguing neuronal coding scheme outside the sensory system. Our framework is concerned with the key idea that this navigation system in the brain—potentially resulting from evolution—provides the blueprint for a neural metric underlying human cognition. Specifically, we propose that the brain maps experience in so-called ‘cognitive spaces’. We test the overarching model that—akin to representing places and paths in a spatial map—similar coding principles are involved in the formation of such cognitive spaces. Importantly, we investigate if these domain-general principles support a broad range of our fundamental cognitive functions, ranging from spatial navigation, memory formation, learning, imagination, and perception to time processing, decision making, and knowledge acquisition. In this talk, I will give an overview of our theoretical framework and experimental approach and will present show-case examples from our fMRI, MEG, and virtual reality experiments identifying cognitive coding mechanisms in the hippocampal-entorhinal system and beyond.