Brownbag Session with Isabella Anderson-Wagner


Isabella Anderson-Wagner gave a Brownbag Session titled "Mapping memories that last: Neural patterns that promote durable memory formation" on Tuesday, 16 January 2024.

Teaser: Some memories are more enduring than others – but what distinguishes them on the neural level, and how can we improve memory? In this talk, I will discuss results from my group attempting to chart the neural markers for longer-term, durable memories. I will first examine the neural patterns dissociating durable from weaker memories that will eventually fade with time. I will then show that spatial-associative memory techniques, such as the method of loci, serve to increase durable memories while simultaneously decreasing hippocampal-neocortical engagement. Such neural efficiency can be achieved not only by world-class “memory champions” but also by mnemonics-naïve individuals after consistent training. Switching gears, recent work has focused on spatially-tuned cells in the medial temporal lobe, including grid cells in the entorhinal cortex. Grid-like codes have been traditionally viewed in the context of spatial navigation. We find that they are also linked to visual information sampling through eye movements that set the stage for memory formation. Overall, my group’s efforts strive to understand memory durability from multiple perspectives, ultimately seeking to comprehend the underlying mechanisms of memory-related cognitive decline in aging and neurodegenerative disease.

A recording of Isabella's talk will be available to Network Associates and Staff Members via the Vienna CogSciHub Wiki Space shortly (login required).