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Re-contextualizing the hippocampus

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  • UserDr Charan Ranganath,Leverhulme Visiting Professor, Dept. of Psychology & Visiting Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, UK Professor, Department of Psychology and Center for Neuroscience, University of California at Davis, USA
  • ClockFriday 18 October 2013, 16:30-18:00
  • HouseGround Floor Lecture Theatre, Department of Psychology.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Louise White.

The hippocampus is one of the most extensively studied areas of the brain, and it is at the center of numerous theories of the neural basis of human memory, but its role in memory is highly controversial. I will present data from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, along with preliminary intracranial EEG evidence suggesting that, rather than coding for all attributes of memories, the hippocampus more specifically encodes the temporal context of an event. Additionally, I will present evidence for the idea that different hippocampal subregions interact with two functionally and anatomically dissociable cortical systems that extend beyond the medial temporal lobes. The results are inconsistent with the idea that the hippocampus is at the apex of a specialized memory system, and more consistent with the idea that the hippocampal context representations modulate activity in distinct systems that guide different aspects of behavior.

Biography: Dr. Ranganath received his B.A. in Psychology at UC Berkeley in 1993 and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Northwestern University in 1999. After doing postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania and UC Berkeley, he joined UC Davis in 2002, where he is now a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology. Dr. Ranganath studies the neural basis of human memory in healthy individuals and in patients with memory disorders, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) techniques. Dr. Ranganath has received the Samuel Sutton Award for Distinguished Early Contributions to ERP research, the Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. In 2013, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Parke-Davis Fellowship from the University of Cambridge.

Web: Facebook: Twitter: @CharanRanganath

This talk is part of the Zangwill Club series.

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