Currently, we have very little idea about how the human brain represents 3D space. This is a particularly difficult problem when you consider how much the retinal image changes as people move their head and eyes. In our laboratory, we compare models of spatial representation that could explain how people behave when they carry out tasks such as pointing at objects that are currently out of sight or finding a shortcut to objects in a maze. We do this in immersive virtual reality, where participants wear a head mounted display, so that we can design and control the environment and, often, change the layout of the scene as participants walk through it.
We have close links with the Robotics Group in the University of Oxford (http://www.robots.ox.ac.uk/~tvg/). Some of the hypotheses we are currently exploring are inspired by the recent success of reinforcement learning on navigation tasks. There is flexibility to make a PhD project more computational, and more closely linked with the Oxford group, or more directly focused on human spatial behaviour.