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Michael Hornberger - University of East Anglia. Norwich, , GB

Michael Hornberger Michael Hornberger

Professor of Applied Dementia Research | University of East Anglia


He researches groups that are at higher risk of developing dementia & works to help reduce this risk or delay the symptoms of dementia.







Dementia: the new challenge for our society lecture trailer (UEA London Lectures 2017) Healthy ageing and dementia | University of East Anglia (UEA) Dementia: the new challenge for our society (UEA London Lectures 2017)




Michael Hornberger is Professor of Dementia at Norwich Medical School, UEA. He researches groups that are at higher risk of developing dementia (because of genetics, lifestyle or their other health condition) and works to help reduce this risk or delay the symptoms of dementia. He also explores the nature of support for those how have been diagnosed with dementia and helping the patients and their families and carers prepare for the future.

Michael’s background is as a neuroscientist and his work involves using innovative techniques (such as online games and driver behaviour) to identify the spatial or navigation issues that can occur long before before diagnosis of dementia and before the traditional impacts on memory arise. This enables early prediction of the likelihood of dementia (sometimes a decade ahead) and the opportunity to manage the onset and reduce risk by as much as 30%.

Areas of Expertise (5)





Human Biology

Education (3)

University College London: Ph.D., Psychology 2006

University of Vienna: M.Sc., Human Biology 2001

University of Osnabrück: B.A., Biology 1998

Media Appearances (5)

Norwich’s life-changing dementia research being discussed in online event

Norwich Evening News  online


Prof Michael Hornberger said: “With the number of people living with dementia around the world set to increase to 152 million by 2025, research is our best hope of changing this future.

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‘Sea Hero Quest’ gaming app can detect Alzheimer’s risk

Healio  online


"Dementia will affect 135 million people worldwide by 2050. We need to identify people earlier to reduce their risk of developing dementia in the future,” Michael Hornberger, PhD, professor of applied dementia research, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, U.K., said in a press release.

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Dementia is difficult to spot early. Researchers think VR can help.

Quartz  online


When Michael Hornberger, professor of applied dementia research at the University of East Anglia, suggested using mobile technology to develop a diagnostic tool for dementia, Deutsche Telekom knew they found their project. “The great thing about dementia is it really fits our brand as well because here we are dealing with people who might lose their memories in future times and can’t be part of the information society any longer,” says Schwingen. “It is in our own business interest that people maintain their brain capacities.”

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‘I can’t help but wonder if it will affect me’ - Former Norwich star Iwan Roberts on study linking heading the ball to dementia

Eastern Daily Press  online


Professor Michael Hornberger, professor of dementia research at Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, said it was an “interesting” study which needs to be followed up with research looking at much greater numbers of people.

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Dementia game 'shows lifelong navigational decline'

BBC News  online


Michael Hornberger, a professor of applied dementia research at the University of East Anglia, said: "The amount of data that has already been generated by people playing Sea Hero Quest all around the world is phenomenal and is enabling us to reveal a vital global benchmark of how people, of all ages and from all over the use spatial navigation."

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Articles (5)

Test-retest reliability of spatial navigation in at-risk Alzheimer’s disease

PLoS One

2020 The Virtual Supermarket Task (VST) and Sea Hero Quest detect high-genetic-risk Alzheimer`s disease (AD). We aimed to determine their test-retest reliability in a preclinical AD population. Over two time points, separated by an 18-month period, 59 cognitively healthy individuals underwent a neuropsychological and spatial navigation assessment.

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A Study on Visual and Structural Characteristics of Landmarks and Experts’ and Non-experts’ Evaluations

German Conference on Spatial Cognition

2020 The aim of this study is to understand what makes a landmark more salient and to explore whether assessments of saliency vary between experts and non-experts. We hypothesize that non-experts’ saliency judgments will agree with those of the experts.

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Understanding Cognitive Saliency by Using an Online Game

German Conference on Spatial Cognition

2020 One of the most common definitions of saliency suggests that there are three categories for landmark saliency, these being visual, structural and cognitive. A large number of studies have focused on the afore-mentioned categories; however, there appear to be fewer studies on cognitive saliency than on the other two types of landmark saliency.

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Redefining Global and Local Landmarks: When Does a Landmark Stop Being Local and Become a Global One?

German Conference on Spatial Cognition

2020 Landmarks are key elements in the wayfinding process. The impact of global and local landmarks in wayfinding has been explored by many researchers and a large body of evidence around landmarks and landmark usage has been discussed.

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Papez Circuit Gray Matter and Episodic Memory in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Behavioural Variant Frontotemporal Dementia

Brain Imaging and Behavior

2020 Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia are two different diseases recognized to overlap at clinical, pathological and genetic characteristics. Both conditions are traditionally known for relative sparing of episodic memory. However, recent studies have disputed that with the report of patients presenting with marked episodic memory impairment.

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