每周论坛之七（总第171期）：陈小丽（German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases ），2018年4月16日下午
Understanding spatial navigation in the human brain
报告人单位：German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
题目：Understanding spatial navigation in the human brain
Spatial navigation is an indispensible skill for a normal life. Successful navigation depends on the efficiency of using different spatial cues. A major categorization is between landmark cue and self-motion cues. Navigating with self-motion cues involves continuous integration of movement-generated inputs over time and distance, a process referred to as path integration. In this talk, I will present two studies. Study 1 linked human path integration to properties of grid cells. Grid cells are spatial-modulated neurons recorded in the rodent medial entorhinal cortex and are essential neural mechanisms underlying spatial navigation. This study examined path integration bias in response to geometric deformations and explicated the way grid cells might function in path integration. Study 2 examined the neural basis of landmark-based navigation and path integration, using ultra-high field fMRI techniques. The multi-voxel pattern analysis showed that the anterior-lateral entorhinal cortex encoded spatial information for landmark cues, whereas the posterior-medial entorhinal cortex encoded spatial information for self-motion cues. Spatial information in the hippocampus predicted individual differences in navigation performance. These results shed new light on how the hippocampal-entorhinal system supports different modes of spatial navigation. At the end of the talk, I will discuss outlook for future studies, which aim at deepening our scientific understanding of cognitive and neural mechanisms of spatial navigation.
Xiaoli Chen is a postdoctoral researcher at German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE). Before that, she obtained her PhD in cognitive neuroscience at Vanderbilt University, USA, and her bachelor degree and master degree in psychology at Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China. She is interested in how people navigate in the environment and how they memorize locations, using virtual reality technology and fMRI techniques. Her research has been published in prestigious scientific journals, e.g., Current Biology and Cognitive Psychology. She has served as reviewers for journals like Psychonomic Bulletin & Review and Plos One.