Professor Paul Dudchenko


Psychology University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Professor Paul Dudchenko

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About me

About me

Paul is a behavioral neuroscientist interested in the brain areas necessary for memory and spatial cognition. His book, Why People Get Lost,  provides an overview of what is known about how people and animals navigate, and what brain regions are critical for this ability. Paul studied at The Ohio State University, and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Dartmouth College (on head direction cells) and Boston University (on place cells). He is currently a Professor in the Faculty of Natural Sciences. 

Ph.D. opportunities: I am happy to supervise Ph.D. studies in the neuroscience of spatial cognition.


D.G. Marquis Behavioral Neuroscience Award 2020
"This award is given each year to recognize the best paper published in Behavioral Neuroscience. Your article "Lesions of the head direction cell system impair direction discrimination" was selected as this year's winner by the editor and consulting editors. " (The award is to be given at the 2020 American Psychological Association meeting.)

Event / Presentation

Dementia Design and Neuroscience Workshop organiser
University of Stirling…cience-workshop/
I organised a workshop that brought together basic neuroscientists and those working to improve designs for individuals with dementia. The goal was to bridge the divide between basic neuroscience studies on how the brain represents space with applied research and work focussing on the challenges physical spaces present to those with dementia. The outcome was a cross-fostering of insights based on both basic and applied approaches to the use of space.

Internation Navigation Symposium invited speaker
Invited talk: Place cell repetition, spatial learning and the head direction cell systme

John Damien Lecture host - Nobel Prize Winner John O'Keefe
University of Stirling…en-lecture-2017/
I invited John O'Keefe, the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine winner to the University of Stirling to deliver the annual John Damien Public Lecture. I hosted his visit, introduced him, and hosted his dinner with staff afterwards.

Royal Institute of Navigation International Conference Keynote Address
Keynote address: Why people get lost: the limits of the brain's map and compass

UK-Korea Neuroscience Symposium - invited speaker…14-Programme.pdf
Invited talk: Why we get lost: the limitation of the brain's representation of location and direction

Research (1)

Paul's research focusses on how the brain underlies memory and spatial navigation.  Paul co-leads the Memory and Space Laboratory at the Centre for Cognitive and Neural System, at the University of Edinburgh.


Spatial orientation and the brain: identifying the link between neural representations of direction and location
PI: Professor Paul Dudchenko
Funded by: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Outputs (56)



Pina I, Mendham AE, Tomaz SA, Goedecke JH, Micklesfield LK, Brooks NE, Gallagher IJ, Crockett R, Dudchenko P & Hunter AM (2021) Intensity Matters for Musculoskeletal Health: A Cross-Sectional Study on Movement Behaviors of Older Adults from High-Income Scottish and Low-Income South African Communities. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (8), Art. No.: 4310.


Shires KL, Hawthorne JP, Hope AMJ, Dudchenko P, Wood ER & Martin SJ (2013) Functional connectivity between the thalamus and postsubiculum: Analysis of evoked responses elicited by stimulation of the laterodorsal thalamic nucleus in anesthetized rats. Hippocampus, 23 (7), pp. 559-569.


Bett D, Stevenson CH, Shires KL, Smith MT, Martin SJ, Dudchenko P & Wood ER (2013) The Postsubiculum and Spatial Learning: The Role of Postsubicular Synaptic Activity and Synaptic Plasticity in Hippocampal Place Cell, Object, and Object-Location Memory. Journal of Neuroscience, 33 (16), pp. 6928-6943.

Conference Proceeding

Dudchenko P, Bett D, Allison E, Kaefer K & Wood ER (2013) An animal model of decision making: vicarious trial-and-error in tasks requiring memory for visual associations or spatial locations. In: Yamaguchi Y (ed.) Advances in Cognitive Neurodynamics (III): Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics - 2011. ICCN2011: The 3rd International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics, Hokkaido, Japan, 09.06.2011-13.06.2011. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 429-435.;


Bett D, Allison E, Murdoch LH, Kaefer K, Wood ER & Dudchenko P (2012) The neural substrates of deliberative decision making: contrasting effects of hippocampus lesions on performance and vicarious trial-and-error behavior in a spatial memory task and a visual discrimination task. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 6, Art. No.: 70.

Book Chapter

Ainge JA, Dudchenko P & Wood ER (2008) Context-dependent firing of hippocampal place cells: does it underlie memory?. In: Mizumori S (ed.) Hippocampal Place Fields. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 44-58.

Book Chapter

Dudchenko P, Muir GM, Frohardt RJ & Taube JS (2005) What does the head direction cell system actually do?. In: Wiener S & Taube J (eds.) Head Direction Cells and the Neural Mechanisms of Spatial Orientation. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press, pp. 221-245.

Book Chapter

Dudchenko P (2003) The head direction system and navigation. In: Jeffery K (ed.) The Neurobiology of Spatial Behaviour. Oxford: Oxford University Press.;jsessionid=A9CB0FA51C9603AD98C463877C39D31E?cc=gb〈=en&

Book Chapter

Wood ER, Dudchenko P & Eichenbaum H (2001) Cellular correlates of behavior. In: Engel J, Schwartzkroin P, Moshe S & Lowenstein D (eds.) Brain Plasticity and Epilepsy: A Tribute to Frank Morrell. International Review of Neurobiology, 45. London, UK: Academic Press, pp. 293-312.;


Dudchenko P, Wood ER & Eichenbaum H (2000) Neurotoxic Hippocampal Lesions Have No Effect on Odor Span and Little Effect on Odor Recognition Memory But Produce Significant Impairments on Spatial Span, Recognition, and Alternation. Journal of Neuroscience, 20 (8), pp. 2964-2977.

Research programmes

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