Call Us: +44 (0)203 488 0774


Wayfinding and cognitive neuroscience

Thursday 23 JulyCross sections of drawing of brains superimposed on an urban environment background

About this event

Can designers and cognitive neuroscientists collaborate to design a more navigable world? Join us at the Sign Design Society for a talk by Professor Kate Jeffery (University College London) exploring how cognitive mapping and other spatial processes underpin wayfinding in both humans and animals. It’s also an opportunity to (re)connect with our friendly community.

How people and animals find their way around has been an intensive topic of research for almost a century, and recent discoveries have shed light on the existence of structures in the brain that collectively contribute to wayfinding. Kate will review some of these discoveries and highlight insights on how the brain makes sense of the spatial world. Following the talk, you can join a discussion of how these insights have the potential to alter how designers approach the task of providing information to wayfinders.

About our speaker

Kate Jeffery is a behavioural neuroscientist at University College London (UCL). Her scientific research explores how the brain makes an internal map of space for use in navigation and memory. She heads the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at UCL, and is co-director of the electrophysiology company Axona Ltd. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, and Fellow and Vice-President of the Royal Institute of Navigation, in which she chairs the Cognition and Navigation special interest group. She is interested in making and communicating links between scientific research findings and real-world societal problems, notably urban design for navigation, and the climate crisis.

University College London (UCL) was founded in 1826 in Bloomsbury, in the heart of London. From 2005, the Institute has branded itself as UCL (rather than University College London) and has used the strapline “London’s Global University”. It is one of London’s leading multidisciplinary academic institutions, with more than 42,000 students from 150 different countries. In 2002 a planned merger with Imperial was successfully defeated, with the body of Jeremy Bentham (regarded as the inspiration behind the founding of the College) brought back onto public display to defend UCL. Renowned for its academic excellence, 29 Nobel Laureates have been based at UCL, including Rabindranath Tagore (1913 Literature), Otto Hahn (1944 Physics) and Francis Crick (1962 Physiology of Medicine).

Save the date… Join us on Zoom on Thursday, 23 July at 6pm (BST) to understand more about the areas of brain function involved in wayfinding behaviour and how environmental cues feed into it!

Register for this event

This talk is free for SDS members and non-members.

To join our Zoom meeting, please get in touch with our administrator Kate at for the event link, ID and password.

[Please note: this event will be recorded and available to paid-up SDS members via our Talks Archive within a week of taking place.]




23 Jul 2020 18:00

Price : Free

Already a member? See details above for booking details.

Please email to reserve your place.