At University College in London, Neil Burgess researches how patterns of electrical activity in brain cells guide us through space.

Why you should listen

Neil Burgessis is deputy director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, where he investigates of the role of the hippocampus in spatial navigation and episodic memory. His research is directed at answering questions such as: How are locations represented, stored and used in the brain? What processes and which parts of the brain are involved in remembering the spatial and temporal context of everyday events, and in finding one's way about?

To explore this space, he and his team use a range of methods for gathering data, including pioneering uses of virtual reality, as well as computational modelling and electrophysiological analysis of the function of hippocampal neurons in the rat, functional imaging of human navigation, and neuropsychological experiments on spatial and episodic memory.

A parallel interest: Investigating our human short-term memory for serial order, or how we know our 123s.

Neil Burgess’ TED talk