Neil Burgess: Research Interests
I am director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
and a member of the UCL Institute of
Neurology. I am supported as a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow and also by
an MRC programme
I'm interested in the
neural mechanisms supporting memory, with particular interest in the role of
the hippocampus in spatial and episodic memory, but also an interest in the
role of other brain regions and forms of memory such as phonological working
memory. My approach is to develop models relating the actions of individual
neurons to behaviour so as to integrate results from
single unit recording, neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging and behavioural experiments. I hope to both predict and perform
useful experiments and to generate novel theoretical and computational
well-specified understanding of the mechanisms involved.
work is carried out in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust
Centre for Neuroimaging and its members such as Eleanor Maguire and Ray
Dolan. Neuropsychological work is carried out in collaboration with Faraneh Vargha-Khadem at the Institute for Child Health and Matthew
Walker, Pam Thompson and Martin Rossor at the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery.
Single unit recording in rats is carried out in collaboration with John O'Keefe
in the Department of Cell and Developmental
Biology and Kate Jeffery in the Institute
of Behavioural Neuroscience. I also collaborate
with Graham Hitch in Psychology at
York on the mechanisms underlying human short-term memory for serial order.
group at the ICN is funded by Wellcome Trust, MRC
and EU grants.
has followed 4 main directions:
- developing quantitative simulations of
the computation role of hippocampal neurons in rat navigation (reviewed
here), and of where and how grid cells (like this
model) and place cells will fire in new environments (like this
one). I am currently interested to extend these well-grounded models
to capture the characteristics of human spatial and episodic memory,
attempting to integrate the experimental results below (reviewed here)
- identifying the the
environmental inputs determining the receptive fields of hippocampal place
this), examining how these responses change with experience (like this),
and showing how the temporal and rate code of place cell firing is
independent (like this).
- The third strand of my research concerns
the neural basis of navigation and episodic memory in humans, using
virtual reality environments based on modifications of PC video games.
These have been used in behavioural (e.g. like
this), functional neuroimaging (e.g. like
this or this ) and Neuropsychological studies (e.g. like this),
focussing on the hippocampus and related structures.
Some of these studies are reviewed here .
- I am also interested in modelling working
memory for serial order (e.g.
like this) and its relationship to long term memory, including the
relationship between imagery and memory and the role of parietal, medial
temporal and frontal areas in these processes. of
For further information,
please see publications.
send me an email