In the Human Memory and Amnesia neuroscience Lab we have a particular focus on studying both memory behaviour and the brain structures, such as the medial temporal lobes (MTL) that support these memory processes.
A major focus of HuMAn is on recognition memory which is that form of memory enabling us to discriminate what is old (or learned) and what is new (and thus may require learning) in our everyday life. We are interested in how we carry out this discrimination and what factors influence our performance as well as what parts of the brain allow us to discriminate old from new information. For example, the MTL which includes structures called the hippocampus, perirhinal cortex and parahippocampal cortex, are known to play a critical role in personal event and fact memory.
Damage to these structures is linked to a number of disorders including amnesia and the dementias (e.g., Alzheimers disease) as well as other memory disorders. In general, dysfunction to the system supporting recognition memory may have devastating effects on the ability to learn new information about everyday events and our ability to accurately retrieve information from the past.
In our studies we employ:
- Behavioural experiments of memory
- Eye movements and pupillometry
- Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
- Neuropsychological testing of clinical populations