UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


New ICN research reveals grid cells’ role in human imagination

14 March 2016

Evidence of grid cell activity has been seen in healthy volunteers asked to imagine moving through an environment in new ICN research funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. The study, published in Current Biology, used fMRI scans to detect brain activity consistent with grid cell activity in the entorhinal cortex, an important ‘hub’ for navigation and memory.

The entorhinal cortex is one of the first areas affected by Alzheimer’s disease, so the latest research could help to explain why people with Alzheimer’s can have problems imagining as well as remembering things.

Image: Entorhinal cortex (courtesy of Professor Neil Burgess, Director of the ICN, and senior author of the paper)