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Dr Naohide Yamamoto

Faculty of Health,
School - Psychology and Counselling


Dr Naohide Yamamoto
Faculty of Health,
School - Psychology and Counselling
IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Health Projects,
IHBI Psych and Counc - HDHS
Discipline *
+61 7 3138 4887
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Identifiers and profiles
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PhD (Johns Hopkins University)

Professional memberships
and associations

Space perception, Spatial memory, Spatial cognition, Navigation

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Dr Yamamoto is an experimental psychologist who is primarily interested in cognitive and neural mechanisms of human spatial navigation. He first studied urban planning and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from the University of Tokyo, Japan. He developed scientific interest in human spatial cognition and navigation through his urban planning research, and decided to pursue an academic career in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. He obtained an MA in psychology and a PhD in psychological and brain sciences from the Johns Hopkins University, USA. Prior to joining the QUT academic staff in 2014, he was an assistant professor of psychology at Cleveland State University, USA and a postdoctoral scientist in psychology at the George Washington University, USA.

Academic Appointments
Queensland University of Technology, Australia (2014–Present)

  • Lecturer in Psychology and Counselling
  • Member of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation

Cleveland State University, USA (2009–14)

  • Assistant Professor of Psychology

George Washington University, USA (2007–09)

  • Postdoctoral Scientist in Psychology

Johns Hopkins University, USA

  • PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences (2008)
  • MA in Psychology (2004)

University of Tokyo, Japan

  • MEng in Urban Engineering (2001)
  • BEng in Urban Engineering (1999)

Research Interests

  • Spatial perception and memory
  • Medial temporal lobe roles in spatial cognition
  • Self-monitoring deficits in schizophrenia/schizotypy and their effects on locomotor navigation
  • Changes in visuospatial abilities in normal and pathological aging
Research Program
Spatial navigation ability is a fundamental building block of our daily living and survival. Any given day of an independent person involves numerous episodes of navigation, small or large—from bedroom to kitchen, from home to work, etc. Nevertheless, our current knowledge about how we find our way in an environment and how the brain mediates this process is still limited. How do we acquire memories for environmental layouts? How do we keep track of where we are in the environment as we move around? Dr Yamamoto’s research addresses these questions to better understand cognitive and neural mechanisms of human spatial navigation.

1. Cognitive and neural mechanisms of path integration

When you briefly view a target on the ground as far as 20 m away and walk toward it with your eyes closed, you can stop at the target quite accurately without any systematic error. Because your eyes are closed while walking, you are keeping track of your current location relative to the target just by using bodily senses about your walking trajectory. This process is known as path integration, which is a fundamental component of our navigation ability. Demonstration like the one above shows that we humans (and other animals as well) are very good at path integration, but it is still largely unknown how the brain carries out such complex computation with great ease and accuracy. By working with healthy volunteers and patients with focal brain injury, Dr Yamamoto and his colleagues are trying to find out which parts of the brain are critically involved in human path integration and how they work together to enable accurate self-location tracking.

2. Navigation deficits in healthy aging and psychiatric/neurological disorders

Impaired spatial navigation is a common symptom among various neurological and psychiatric disorders including topographical disorientation, hemispatial neglect, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. It is sometimes observed in healthy older adults too. However, in many of these cases psychological and neurological origins of the navigation impairment are still poorly identified, creating an urgent need for further investigation. Dr Yamamoto and his colleagues are currently working with the healthy elderly as well as patients with various cognitive conditions to examine what kinds of navigation problems they have and why they are suffering them.

3. Integration of object locations into a representation of spatial layout

Spatial learning in everyday environments usually involves remembering the layout of multiple objects, rather than just memorizing one particular object location. Given that it is often impossible to perceive the whole environment at once, learning a spatial layout entails the integration of individual object locations into a representation of the entire layout. It seems that we can carry out this integration rather efficiently, but how do we achieve this? To make it even more challenging, it is frequently the case that we learn object locations through different sensory modalities—for example, you see where windows are located, localize sounds coming from a TV, register direction and distance between a door and a couch through body movement, and feel a remote on a table as you reach for it. This could be confusing, but we (almost) always maintain the sense of integrated space. In this line of research, Dr Yamamoto and his colleagues are exploring how spatial information is organized into a coherent representation of space in human memory.

For more information, please see Dr Yamamoto’s CV.

This information has been contributed by Dr Naohide Yamamoto.


Generally, Dr Yamamoto teaches cognitive psychology and statistics. Currently, he is the coordinator of the following units:

  • PYB110 Psychological Research Methods
  • PYB204 Perception and Cognition

He often gives lectures in the following units as well:

  • PYB102 Introduction to Psychology 1b
  • PYB210 Research Design and Data Analysis
  • PYB304 Physiological Psychology
This information has been contributed by Dr Naohide Yamamoto.


For publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.