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Fellows Directory

Neil Burgess

Neil Burgess

Professor Neil Burgess FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2017


Neil Burgess has made important theoretical and experimental contributions to understanding memory and spatial cognition. He develops computational models relating behaviour to activity in the brain’s neuronal networks and designs novel experiments to test their predictions. 

Neil studied Maths and Physics at University College London (UCL) and Theoretical Physics at Manchester, where he began working on models of memory with psychologist Graham Hitch. He returned to UCL as a Royal Society University Research Fellow to work with John O’Keefe FRS on neuronal representations of spatial location and their relation to memory.  

Neil’s models explain how networks of neurons allow us to represent, remember and imagine our location within the surrounding environment. These models provide a quantitative understanding of how spatial and episodic memory function (and dysfunction) depend on brain activity. With colleagues Tom Hartley and Colin Lever he both predicted and discovered neurons representing environmental boundaries. Neil was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2009 and is currently a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow.

Professional positions

, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London (UCL)

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
    • Behavioural neuroscience, Experimental psychology


Spatial cognition, Memory

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