The role of the Medial Temporal Lobes in memory

This Wellcome Trust funded project aims to combine neuropsychological, MRI and fMRI evidence regarding the function of the medial temporal lobe and the specific role of the hippocampus in supporting recognition memory.

Project aims

A requirement of this project is to identify a large group of hypoxic patients with selective MTL damage and to combine state-of-the-art memory testing and structural/functional brain imaging. The project has been approved by the National Research Ethics Service (NRES North West Committee; approval number: 12/NW/0378).

This project has also been adopted by NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) and is part of the CRN portfolio database (UKCRN ID: 12361)

Volunteers - Patients

Patients for this project are recruited through consulting clinicians in various NHS trusts across the UK. If you have had a medical event that may have involved hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) and have also experienced a change in your memory, and if you are interested in participating, please bring our study to the attention of your consulting clinician who can refer you.

Further information: NIHR research archive
Study Patient: Participant Information booklet (PDF 219KB)

Contact us

Professor Daniela Montaldi
+ 44 (0)161 275 7335

Dr Alex Kafkas
+ 44 (0)161 275 7341

Healthy volunteers

We are carrying out a study looking at the effects of certain types of brain damage on memory. In particular we are looking at how damage to parts of the medial temporal lobe affects memory performance and how people experience remembering. The medial temporal lobes lie deep in the brain, situated towards the centre, in line with your ears. We are interested in how damage to these regions affects memory for new information and memory for older information, learnt before the damage.

We are looking for some healthy volunteers to act as a control group to compare with our patient population. This study involves having an MRI scan. We will reimburse any travel expenses and compensate you for your time.

We are looking for healthy volunteers between the ages of 24 and 70 to take part.
You also need to be:

  • Native or fluent English speaker
  • Have no history of neurological or psychiatric illness
  • Have no history of metal implant or metal fragments entering the body during an accident or at work
  • Not pregnant
  • Not a sufferer of claustrophobia

If you are interested in the study, we will send you a full information sheet and can discuss the project with you before you decide whether or not you want to take part.

The study involves a maximum of five visits:

  • Screening visit - this will include some standard memory tests and questionnaires and will last two to three hours.
  • MRI Scanning visit - this will include having an MRI scan of your brain. The scan will last about an hour, with the whole visit lasting about two hours.
  • Up to three testing visits - these will include more memory tests and will each last two to three hours (and will incorporate breaks). Some memory tests will be carried out on the computer and some on paper. They will involve pictures and words and questions about some events in your life that you are happy to talk about. We aim wherever possible to combine one of these visits with the MRI Scanning visit and carry out the remaining two testing sessions in one day. However, you may prefer to have shorter sessions across more days; this is also possible.

Study Control: Participant Information booklet (PDF 216KB)

There are very few risks associated with an MRI scan for most people, however we will exclude participants with pacemakers, metal implants or women who are pregnant. We will check for any further exclusion criteria for MRI with you before your first visit.

If you have any questions please contact
Dr Alex Kafkas
+ 44 (0) 161 275 7341