Ben Hutchinson, Psychology, Princeton University
Title: The Role of Attention in Creating and Retrieving Memories
Ebbinghaus Empire Series 2014-2015
VIDEO RECORDING OF TALK
Abstract: Attention and memory are core aspects of cognition, and they are often studied as though each operates in isolation from the other. My research takes an alternative, more integrative approach, focusing on how and when these processes interact. On the one hand, attention might play a role in successful remembering by selecting appropriate cues from the environment to aid retrieval or by enhancing desired (and suppressing undesired) traces retrieved from memory. On the other hand, memory might impact the way in which we sample the environment by supporting the detection of novel information to be learned or by biasing us toward features and objects that have been useful in the past. In this talk, I will present two lines of research that seek to better understand this bidirectional relationship. In particular, I will describe findings from a series of functional neuroimaging studies designed to explore how the brain implements both attention during remembering and memory during ongoing experience. The overarching goal of this research is to highlight how this kind of integrative approach can further our understanding of cognition.
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