Journal of Undergraduate Research


declarative memory, pattern separation, hippocampal processes


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




In current literature, researchers have proposed that the relationshipbetween objects and the context they are found in is integral to long-term declarative memory, and converges at hippocampal processes. In order to explore the effect of visual context on memory, our experiment was designed to evaluate the behavioral performance of subjects completing a contextual memory task intended to tax the pattern separation process in the hippocampus. Pattern separation is the computational process performed in the hippocampus with the goal of making similar patterns of neural activity as dissimilar as possible, thereby allowing us to distinguish between two objects that appear similar. Intentionally taxing this process with a task involving sets of similar objects paired with background images that are either contextually congruent or incongruent with the foreground image, will aid in determining the role visual context plays in relation to how well subjects remember distinct objects.

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