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B&C Tuesday Seminar “Navigating semantic spaces: recycling the brain GPS for higher-level cognition”

28 May @ 12 h 15 min - 13 h 15 min

Abstract : Humans share with other animals a complex neuronal machinery that evolved to support navigation in the physical spaceand that supports wayfinding and path integration. In my talk I will present a series of recent neuroimaging studies in humansperformed in my Lab aimed at investigating the idea that this same neural navigation system (the “brain GPS”) is also used to organizeand navigate concepts and memories, and that abstract and spatial representations rely on a common neural fabric. I will argue thatthis might represent a novel example of “cortical recycling”, where the neuronal machinery that primarily evolved, in lower level animals, to represent relationships between spatial locations and navigate space, in humans are reused to encode relationships between concepts in an internal abstract representational space of meaning.