York Episodic Memory Labmain menu

Home Lab Members Research Publications Contact

Who we are

We are a group of cognitive neuroscientists based in the Department of Psychology and the York Neuroimaging Centre at the University of York, UK.

What we do

Memory is a fundamental process that allows us to make sensible predictions about what might happen in the future based on past experience. Put simply, it stops us repeating our mistakes.

We are interested in how the brain remembers past events and how this shapes behaviour in the present. We use experimental psychology, virtual reality, computational modelling, and brain imaging to understand these processes in the healthy human brain. We also test patients with memory deficits to understand how these processes can become impaired.

Why we do it

We aim to apply what we learn in the lab to the real world. This can be in an educational setting, where our experiments can inform how information in best learnt and retained, and in a medical setting, where understanding the breakdown of memory processes can shape interventions to help specific patients function more effectively in the real world.

We also believe in the value of basic science in and of itself. Unravelling the complexities of the human brain is inherently valuable to society regardless of translation. Ultimately, we do what we do because we are fascinated by the brain.

Lab members

Aidan Horner

Aidan James Horner

Principal Investigator

Aidan completed his BSc in psychology and MSc in cognitive neuroscience at the University of York, and his PhD in cognitive Neuroscience at the Unversity of Cambridge, UK. He held postdoctoral positions at the Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany and University College London, UK.


Google Scholar


Samuel Charles Berens

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Sam completed his BSc in psychology and music technology at the University of Keele before obtaining an MSc and PhD in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Sussex.


Google Scholar


Bardur Hofgaard Joensen

PhD Student

Bardur completed his BSc in psychology at the University of Aberdeen, UK and MSc in cognitive neuroscience at Univerisity College London, UK.



Jamie Cockcroft

PhD Student

Jamie completed his BSc in psychology and MSc in cognitive neuroscience at Durham University, UK.



We are interested in how our memory of the past shapes our decisions in the present. We use a variety of techniques to understand the neural basis of memory-guided decision-making in the healthy human brain, and how it breaks down in specific patient populations. Below are examples of projects both past and present.

Pattern completion


Pattern completion allows us to retrieve a complete memory trace when only presented with a partial cue. For example, we might remember all the details of a social event with a friend when presented with only a picture the friend. This project explores this pattern completion process for complex episodic events. It also focusses on the roles of the hippocampus and neocortex during this process, and how they interact. Ultimately, we are interested in how the brain supports our ability to subjectively re-experience previous life events.

Grid cells


Grid cells are a type of spatially modulated neuron found in both rodents and humans. They fire in multiple locations in a given environment in a highly regular fashion. This regularity allows us to use non-invasive brain imaging to measure a 'grid-like' signal in the human brain. Here we are interested in whether grid cells are used for more than spatial navigation. For example, do we use grid cells when we close our eyes and imagine moving through space?

Spatial boundaries


Memories of past events are often subjectively discrete in nature. We remember what happened in a specific period that spans both time and space. What defines the boundaries of this event? Here we are interested in the role of spatial boundaries in segmenting our continuous sensory experience into more discrete 'events' that form the basis of our memories of the past.

Horner, A.J., Bisby, J., Lin, W-J., & Burgess, N. (2015) Evidence for holistic episodic recollection via hippocampal pattern completion, Nature Communications, 6:7462. [PubMed] [PDF]

Horner, A.J., Bisby, J.A., Zotow, E., Bush, D., & Burgess, N., (2016) Grid-like processing of imagined navigation, Current Biology, 26, 842-847. [PubMed] [PDF]

Horner, A.J., Bisby, J.A., Wang, A., Bogus, K., & Burgess, N., (2016) The role of spatial boundaries in shaping long-term event representations, Cognition, 154, 151-164. [PubMed] [PDF]



Ngo, C.T., Horner, A.J., Newcombe, N.S., & Olson, I.R., (2019) Development of Holistic Episodic Recollection, PsyArXiv [Link]

Joensen, B., Gaskell, M.G., & Horner, A.J., (2018) United we fall: All-or-none forgetting of complex episodic events, PsyArXiv [Link]


Bisby, J.A., Horner, A.J., Bush, D., & Burgess, N., (2018) Negative emotional content disrupts the coherence of episodic memories, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(2), 243-256. [PubMed] [PDF]

Suarez-Jimenez, B., Bisby, J.A., Horner, A.J., King, J.A., Pine, D.S., & Burgess, N., (2018) Linked networks for learning and expressing location-specific threat, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(5), E1032-E1040. [PubMed] [PDF]


Horner, A.J., & Doeller, C.F., (2017) Plasticity of hippocampal memories in humans, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 43, 102-109. [PubMed] [PDF]

Berens, S.C., & Horner, A.J., (2017) Theta Rhythm: Temporal glue for episodic memory, Current Biology, 27, R1110-R1112. [PubMed] [PDF]

Henson, R.N., Horner, A.J., Greve, A., Cooper, E., Gregori, M., Simons, J.S., Erzinçlioğlu, S., Browne, G., & Kapur, N. (2017) No effect of hippocampal lesions on stimulus-response bindings, Neuropsychologia, 103, 106-114. [PubMed] [PDF]

Kaplan, R., Bush, D., Bisby, J.A., Horner, A.J., Meyer, S.S., & Burgess, N., (2017) Medial prefrontal-medial temporal theta phase coupling in dynamic spatial imagery, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 154, 151-164. [PubMed] [PDF]


Horner, A.J., Bisby, J.A., Wang, A., Bogus, K., & Burgess, N., (2016) The role of spatial boundaries in shaping long-term event representations, Cognition, 154, 151-164. [PubMed] [PDF]

Horner, A.J., Bisby, J.A., Zotow, E., Bush, D., & Burgess, N., (2016) Grid-like processing of imagined navigation, Current Biology, 26, 842-847. [PubMed] [PDF]

Horner, A.J. (2016) Retrieval of bindings between task-irrlevevant stimuli and responses can facilitate behaviour under conditions of high response certainty, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(3), 561-573. [PubMed] [PDF]

Bisby, J.A., Horner, A.J., Horlyck, L.D., & Burgess, N. (2016) Opposing effects of negative emotion on item and associative memory are mediated by amygdalar and hippocampal activity, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 69(3), 561-573. [PubMed] [PDF]

Lin, W-J., Horner, A.J., & Burgess, N. (2016) Ventromedial prefrontal cortex: adding value to autobiographical memories, Scientific Reports, 6:28630. [PubMed] [PDF]


Horner, A.J., Bisby, J., Bush, D., Lin, W-J., & Burgess, N. (2015) Evidence for holistic episodic recollection via hippocampal pattern completion, Nature Communications, 6:7462. [PubMed] [PDF]

Frings, C., Moeller, B., & Horner, A.J. (2015) On the durability of bindings between responses and irrelevant stimuli, Acta Psychologica, 161, 73-78. [PubMed] [PDF]

Bird, C., Keidel, J.L., Ing, L.P., Horner, A.J. & Burgess, N. (2015) Consolidation of complex events via reinstatement in posterior cingulate cortex, Journal of Neuroscience, 35(43), 14426-14434. [PubMed] [PDF]

Lin, W-J., Horner, A.J., Bisby, J., & Burgess, N. (in press) Medial prefrontal cortex: adding value to imagined scenarios, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27(10), 1957-1967. [PubMed] [PDF]


Horner, A.J., & Burgess, N. (2014) Pattern completion in multi-element event engrams, Current Biology, 24(9), 988-992. [PubMed] [PDF]

Henson, R.N., Eckstein, D., Waszak, F., Frings, C., & Horner, A.J. (2014) Stimulus-response bindings in priming, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18(7), 376-384. [PubMed] [PDF]

Kaplan, R., Horner, A.J., Bandettini, P.A., Doeller, C.F., & Burgess, N. (2014) Human hippocampal processing of environmental novelty during spatial navigation, Hippocampus, 24(7), 740-750. [PubMed] [PDF]

Bird, C., Berens, S.C., Horner, A.J., Franklin, A. (2014) Categorical encoding of color in the brain, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(12), 4590-4595. [PubMed] [PDF]

Jafarpour, A., Fuentemilla, L., Horner, A.J., Penny, W., & Duzel, E. (2014) Replay of very early encoding representations during recollection, Journal of Neuroscience, 34(1), 242-248. [PubMed] [PDF]


Horner, A.J., & Burgess, N. (2013) The associative structure of memory for multi-element events, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142(4), 1370-1383. [PubMed] [PDF]

Jafarpour, A., Horner, A.J., Fuentemilla, L., Penny, W. & Duzel, E., (2013) Decoding oscillatory representations and mechanisms in memory, Neuropsychologia, 51(4), 772-780. [PubMed] [PDF]

Guitart-Masip, M., Barnes, G., Horner, A.J., Dolan, R.J., & Duzel, E. (2013) Synchronization of medial temporal lobe and prefrontal rhythms in human decision-making, Journal of Neuroscience, 33(2), 442-451. [PubMed] [PDF]


Horner, A.J., Gadian, D.G., Fuentemilla, L., Jentschke, S., Vargha-Khadem, F. & Duzel, E., (2012) A rapid, hippocampus-dependent, item-memory signal that initiates context memory in humans, Current Biology, 22(24), 2369-2374. [PubMed] [PDF]

Shtyrov, Y., Smith, M., Horner, A.J., Henson, R.N., Nathan, P., & Pulvermüller, F., (2012) Attention to language: Novel MEG paradigm for registering involuntary language processing in the brain, Neuropsychologia, 50(11), 2605-2616. [PubMed] [PDF]

Horner, A.J., (2012) Focussing on the frontal cortex (peer commentary on journal article "Repetition Priming and Repetition Suppression: A Case for Enhanced Efficiency Through Neural Synchronization"), Cognitive Neuroscience, 3(3-4), 246-247. [PubMed] [PDF]

Horner, A.J., & Henson, R.N., (2012) Incongruent abstract stimulus-response bindings result in response interference: fMRI and EEG evidence from visual object classification priming, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(3), 760-773.[PubMed] [PDF]

Horner, A.J., & Henson, R.N., (2012) Priming, response learning and repetition suppression, In N.M. Seel (Ed), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning, Springer. [PDF]


Horner, A.J., & Henson, R.N., (2011) Stimulus-Response bindings code both abstract and specific representations of stimuli: evidence from a classification priming design that reverses multiple levels of response representations, Memory & Cognition, 39(8), 1457-1471.[PubMed] [PDF]

Horner, A.J., & Henson, R.N., (2011) Repetition suppression in occipitotemporal cortex despite negligible visual similarity: evidence for post-perceptual processing?, Human Brain Mapping, 32(10), 1519-1534.[PubMed] [PDF]


Horner, A.J., & Henson, R.N., (2009) Bindings between stimuli and multiple response codes dominate long-lag repetition priming in speeded classification tasks, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 35(3), 757-779.[PubMed] [PDF]

Horner, A.J., & Andrews, T.J., (2009) Linearity of the fMRI response in category-selective regions of the human visual cortex, Human Brain Mapping, 30(8), 2628-2640.[PubMed] [PDF]


Horner, A.J., & Henson, R.N., (2008) Response learning, priming and repetition suppression, Neuropsychologia, 46, 1979-1991.[PubMed] [PDF]

Aidan Horner's PhD thesis

The role of stimulus-response bindings in priming: multiple routes and multiple stages [PDF]


Dr Aidan J Horner

Department of Psychology

University of York


YO10 5DD

United Kingdom

Telephone: 01904324603

Email: aidan.horner@york.ac.uk

Twitter: @aidanhorner