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10/31 Neuroscience and Behavior Seminar Series-Rosemary Cowell
October 31 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Memory research in the 21st century: More than just pinning the tail on the donkey
What are the brain mechanisms that allow you to recognize an old friend, or recall your sister’s wedding in vivid detail? In the twentieth century, researchers discovered that one brain region, the hippocampus, plays a pivotal role in “declarative memory” (memory for facts like your old friend’s name and events like your sister’s wedding). Other cognitive functions – e.g., paying attention, perceiving visual objects, making decisions – appeared to depend on other brain regions, and so a preliminary map of cognition could be sketched by “pinning the cognitive function on the brain”. But recent evidence suggests that the map may be misleading, because many cognitive functions are not confined to a single region. Dr. Cowell will describe a novel approach to understanding how memory is organized in the brain.
This talk is part of the UMass Week of Memory and Forgetting: Science, Society, and Senescence(link is external).