Main Focus

Space is a basis for our physical experience as well as abstract thought. How people perceive a space and navigate within it is a fundamental question in cognitive science, with broad implications in neuroscience, psychology, neurology, ethology, robotics and artificial intelligence. My research concerns one critical form of spatial processing: how do humans navigate in a 3D world? I study whether the brain processes the extra third dimension as it encodes 2D spatial information, how people build cognitive maps of a 3D space, and whether the map follows Euclidean geometry. Virtual reality, non-invasive neuroimaging, and computational models are my main research tools. I am also interested in clinical and technical applications (e.g., spatial disorientation in aging) as well as more general cognitive processes (e.g., inference and relational learning in abstract space).

Selected publication

Kim M, Doeller CD (2022). Adaptive cognitive maps for curved surfaces in a 3D world. Cognition, 225, 205126

Kim M, Maguire EA (2019). Encoding of 3D head direction information in the human brain. Hippocampus 29, 7, 619-629

Kim M, Maguire EA. (2019) Can we study 3D grid codes non-invasively in the human brain? Methodological considerations and fMRI findings. Neuroimage 186, 667-678

Kim M, Maguire EA. (2018) Hippocampus, retrosplenial and parahippocampal cortices encode multi-compartment 3D space in a hierarchical manner. Cerebral Cortex 28, 5, 1898-1909

Kim M, Jeffery KJ, Maguire EA. (2017) Multivoxel pattern analysis reveals 3D place information in the human hippocampus. Journal of Neuroscience 37:4270-4279

Curriculum Vitae

Current: Postdoctoral researcher at MPI (Supervisor: Prof. Christian Doeller)

2018 Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London (UCL), United Kingdom

  • Thesis: Three-dimensional space representation in the human brain  (Supervisor: Prof. Eleanor Maguire)

2013 M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, South Korea

2011 B.S. in Bio and Brain Engineering / Minor: Physics (Summa Cum Laude), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, South Korea

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