CORDIS
EU research results

CORDIS

English EN

Navigation of a mind-space. The spatial organization of declarative knowledge

Objective

"Your brain is among the most complex existing systems, and it processes every second an amazing amount of data. The most amazing thing, however, is that you get to know some of it.
Declarative knowledge, meaning the portion of knowledge that we can consciously access and manipulate, is one of the most enduring mysteries of the human mind. How did it evolve? And what are the mechanisms behind it? One possibility is that the complex neural machinery that mammals evolved to navigate space has been recycled to ""navigate"" declarative knowledge. Research from single cell recordings in rodents to brain imaging studies with humans is converging toward the fascinating hypothesis that conscious declarative knowledge is spatially organized, and can be stored, retrieved and manipulated through the same computations used to represent and navigate physical space. Crucially, this spatial scaffolding may be what makes knowledge accessible to us.
The time is mature for an integral and ambitious attempt to test and develop this innovative hypothesis. NOAM will be at the frontline of this endeavour relying upon cutting-edge neuroimaging and analysis techniques. In this project we will test the relationships between spatial and conceptual navigation asking whether people that navigate space in a different way (congenitally blind individuals) also navigate concepts in a different way. Then, we will explore how low-dimensional cognitive maps interact with multidimensional semantic information, and we will test whether the spatial organization is a trademark of conscious declarative knowledge or extends to unconscious conceptual processing. Finally we will adopt a translational approach to characterize the neural basis of pre-clinical Alzheimer Disease.
Thanks to its groundbreaking nature and high-risk/high-gain approach, NOAM has the potential to ensure major progresses in cognitive neuroscience, artificial intelligence and related fields, changing the way we think about the human mind"
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Host institution

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TRENTO

Address

Via Calepina 14
38122 Trento

Italy

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 498 644

Beneficiaries (1)

Sort alphabetically

Sort by EU Contribution

Expand all

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TRENTO

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 1 498 644

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 804422

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 April 2019

  • End date

    31 March 2024

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 498 644

  • EU contribution

    € 1 498 644

Hosted by:

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TRENTO

Italy