JENNIFER RYAN, Rotman Research Institute
Title: Seeing what you remember: reconceptualizations of amnesia and oculomotor Hippocampal stakeout: Surveilling during search and sleep
Ebbinghaus Empire Series 2015-2016
Abstract: The movement of our eyes across the visual field is influenced considerably by our prior knowledge and experiences. As a result, eye movement monitoring has been used as a tool to understand the nature of the memory impairment that is observed in amnesia. Moment-to-moment changes that are observed in the eye movement patterns of amnesic cases have informed our conceptualizations regarding the role of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is critical for forming representations regarding the relations among distinct items that, in sum, comprise our memories for prior experiences. Importantly, these representations may be rapidly and continually used online, thereby extending the reach of the hippocampus from memory to support other cognitive functions, such as perception and visual exploration. Evidence obtained regarding amnesia also points to a reconsideration of the oculomotor network. To date, no major account of eye movement control considers the influence of the hippocampus and its extended system, yet it is clear that such integration among the networks must exist. Recent efforts to understand the anatomical connectivity between the hippocampal and oculomotor systems suggest that structures such as the frontal eye fields, anterior cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex may serve as information processing hubs that promote the cognitive control of eye movements and allow for the influence of memory to be observed on viewing behavior.
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