Journal of Undergraduate Research


neurobiological basis of memory specificity, context, re-encoding


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




At a general level, we know that the information that is successfully encoded in and retrieved from long-term memory is influenced by the context during encoding and retrieval. However, we do not yet know how context affects mnemonic discrimination of similar or overlapping items or events. Further, we do not yet know what the effect is of retrieving the wrong information (or false recognition) on the original memory representation. Here, I propose to lead a group of students in an investigation using functional MRI (fMRI) on the effects of context on a neural process called pattern separation that is thought to underlie our ability to form specific memories for items and events. We will also investigate the neural and behavioral effects of incorrectly recognizing an event that did not in fact occur. Students have led the design of these projects and will continue to take the lead in data collection and analysis. They will also be responsible for writing the results for publication and presentation at international conferences.

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