Prof. Christian Döller, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Memory is at the very heart of our personality: the myriad snapshots of our daily experience have a pervasive and enduring influence on the self. But how is the multitude of individual memories organized in the brain? To unravel the underlying neural mechanisms, I combine neuroimaging with life-like, realistic virtual reality tasks in humans. In this talk, I will present evidence that memories are stored in mnemonic networks in the hippocampal formation. These memory maps allow us to navigate the world, support flexible integration and segregation of events and help us make appropriate decisions. Additionally, I will show that layer-resolved fMRI can delineate the laminar distribution of memory representations while MEG can pinpoint the oscillatory dynamics during memory formation. Understanding the representational structure of malleable memories might enable us in the future to map how the brain assembles our rich inventory of knowledge.