We are able to navigate complex environments with relative ease, an ability that relies on an extended network of regions in the human brain. The critical role that spatial navigation plays in daily life is seen in Alzheimer’s Disease, where spatial disorientation places patients at risk of harm, leading to a debilitating loss of independence. This project aims to reveal how the human brain supports spatial navigation.
Our research combines virtual reality environments with fMRI and multivariate pattern analyses to reveal the neural representations that support spatial navigation in healthy human participants. We develop novel stimulus sets of real-world locations as well as bespoke virtual reality environments that allow us to test specific hypotheses from neurocognitive models of spatial navigation.
Dr Horner's research interests are broadly related to how the brain remembers information over long periods of time. He uses experimental psychology, virtual reality, brain imaging and computational modelling to understand the neural mechanisms that support long-term memory.