How does the brain deal with new situations? How does it make decisions? Mona Garvert and Christian Doeller from MPI CBS, together with Max Planck colleagues from MPI for Human Development and MPI for Biological Cybernetics, have investigated the underlying mechanism in the brain when we apply stored knowledge to new decision-making situations in a study currently published in Nature Neuroscience.
Human spatial cognition has been mainly characterized in terms of egocentric (body-centered) and allocentric (world-centered) wayfinding behavior. It was hypothesized that allocentric spatial coding, as a special high-level cognitive ability, develops later and deteriorates earlier than the egocentric one throughout lifetime. We challenged this hypothesis by testing the use of landmarks versus geometric cues in a cohort of 96 deeply phenotyped participants, who physically navigated an equiangular Y maze, surrounded by landmarks or an anisotropic one.
Our memories are not stored in isolation. Rather, they form a dynamic network that can be constantly updated with new information, making us capable of learning. Imagine watching a suspenseful movie, full of twists and turns, in which you wonder who the wanted criminal might be. In the last scene, the grand finale, you discover who was the culprit all along, and in an “aha moment” you immediately connect scenes that were not connected for you before.
Memory, one of the hallmarks of human cognition, can be modified when humans voluntarily modulate neural population activity using neurofeedback. However, it is currently unknown whether neurofeedback can influence the integration of memories, and whether memory is facilitated or impaired after such neural perturbation.
On Monday 12th December 2022, 3.30 pm CET, Professor Yael Niv (Princeton University, NJ, USA) will give a talk entitled “Latent causes, prediction errors, and the organization of memory”.
It’s very important in sports, and in interpersonal relationships, too – perfect timing. But how does our brain learn to estimate when events might occur and react accordingly? Scientists at MPI CBS in Leipzig together with colleagues from the Kavli Institute at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim were able to demonstrate in an MRI study that our brain learns best in connection with constructive feedback.
On Thursday 10th November 2022, 3.30 pm CET, Professor Timothy Behrens (University of Oxford, UK) will give a talk entitled “A re-programmable finite state machine in the mouse medial prefrontal cortex”.
On Thursday, 3rd November 2022, 3.30 pm CEST, Prof Daniela Schiller (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA) will give a talk entitled “Navigating social space“.
On Monday, 29th August 2022, 3.30 pm CEST, Prof Charan Ranganath (University of California at Davis, USA) will give a talk entitled “Complementary learning systems in memory and navigation”.