Elizabeth Chrastil, PhD
University California, Santa Barbara
Title: Using spatial navigation to understand human learning and memory
Date: Monday, December 17th, 2018
Location: Herklotz Conference Center, Center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Navigation is a central part of daily life. For some, getting around is easy, while others struggle, and certain clinical populations display wandering behaviors and extensive disorientation. Working at the interface between immersive virtual reality and neuroimaging techniques, my research uses these complementary approaches to inform questions about how we acquire and use spatial knowledge. In this talk, I will discuss both some of my recent work and upcoming experiments that center on three main themes: 1) how we learn new environments, 2) how the brain tracks spatial information, and 3) how individuals differ in their spatial abilities. More broadly, I will discuss how navigation lends insight into processes of human learning and memory. The behavioral and neuroimaging studies presented in this talk inform new frameworks for understanding spatial knowledge, leading to novel approaches to answering the next major questions in navigation, learning, and memory.