What: The hippocampal cognitive map provides generic neural principles for the extraction and transfer of knowledge.
Who: Raphael Kaplan, PhD, Associate Professor, Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
When: May 21st, 12 PM, noon. via Zoom
Cognitive maps are internal models that detail the relative locations of different phenomena in their physical or metaphorical environment. Their theoretical contribution to the neurobiology of spatial cognition has been transformative. There are now hints that map-like neural computations extend to other cognitive domains. Building on these findings, I investigate whether cognitive maps provide generic neural principles for the extraction and transfer of knowledge. I will introduce paradigms that leverage our experience exploring the physical world to probe how humans rapidly plan a sequence of novel choices, learn about new people, and transfer knowledge between cognitive domains. These experiments highlight hippocampal-prefrontal map-like computations that guide learning and generalization of everyday knowledge. More broadly, these data illustrate how map-like organization of knowledge allows us to flexibly learn, remember, and decide.