Friday, February 1, 2008

Seminar Announcement: Melina Uncapher

UCI Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Seminar Announcement

Melina Uncapher, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Stanford University

From experience to memory: characterizing neural correlates of episodic encoding

Date: Monday, February, 4th
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: SSPA 2112


How are the complex neural representations of our experiences translated into those that will endure across time? And what do these transformed neural representations look like? Functional neuroimaging techniques such as fMRI have provided the opportunity to observe changes in the brain that temporally coincide with the birth of these experiential (or 'episodic') memories. Despite such powerful techniques, however, the precise neural and cognitive mechanisms responsible for the formation of memories remain unclear. Efforts to localize these mechanisms should account for at least three parameters of a neural representation of a memory. Namely, such a representation should: 1) reflect the specific processing engendered by the experience, 2) comprise a single (distributed) representation, unifying the multiple constituent elements of the experience, and 3) be enduring across time. In this talk, I will discuss an emerging conceptual framework for how the brain creates episodic memories, based on a number of fMRI studies aimed at addressing the foregoing parameters.

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