Royal Irish Academy Discourse: Brain Mechanisms underlying Flexible Navigation
On Thursday 18th February, the Royal Irish Academy will host an online Academy Discourse ‘Brain Mechanisms underlying Flexible Navigation’ with esteemed neuroscientist John O’Keefe, Hon. MRIA and a Response from Shane O’Mara, MRIA. The event will begin at 19.00
The ability to navigate successfully is fundamental to animal survival. In his talk Professor O’Keefe will describe one of the principal navigation systems of the brain, the hippocampal cognitive map. The cognitive map consists of a set of specialized spatial cells coding for information about the animal’s location, heading direction and distance travelled in a familiar environment. In recent work from his laboratory, they have developed behavioural and electrophysiological techniques which have enabled them to examine how the hippocampus underpins flexible navigation. Using a newly developed testing apparatus, the honeycomb maze, they are able to probe the animal’s ability to demonstrate its understanding of the goal direction and to take indirect paths from any location in a known environment. Using large-scale single cell recording from the hippocampus, they have studied the spatial representations of the environment which underpin successful flexible navigation. Towards the end of his lecture he will speculate on the meaning of these results for human episodic memory and for some aspects of human language processing.
The event is free but booking is essential via Eventbrite
The Academy Discourse programme is supported by Mason Hayes & Curran LLP