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Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL Institute of Neurology
The neural basis of spatial and episodic memory in humans
The human hippocampus is widely acknowledged to play a critical role in spatial navigation, episodic memory (the memory for past experiences) and imagining future events. Precisely how it accomplishes this is unclear, and remains one of the key questions in memory neuroscience. In my lab we use whole brain and high resolution structural and functional MRI (fMRI) in humans to address this issue. In addition, we combine high resolution fMRI with multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) allowing us to predict memory representations and computations from patterns of brain activity across voxels. Most recently we have implemented these methods in the individual subfields of the hippocampus.
As well as neuroimaging, my lab has an active neuropsychological programme. We test a range of patients including those with focal bilateral hippocampal damage and concomitant amnesia (both adults and children), and patients with unilateral hippocampal sclerosis.
There are a range of projects available related to this general theme.
Selected recent publications
Mullally SL, Maguire EA. 2011. A new role for the parahippocampal cortex in representing space. Journal of Neuroscience 31: 7441-7449.
Chadwick MJ, Hassabis D, Weiskopf N, Maguire EA. 2010. Decoding individual episodic memory traces in the human hippocampus. Current Biology 20: 544-547.
Hassabis D, Chu C, Rees G, Weiskopf N, Molyneux PD, Maguire EA. 2009. Decoding neuronal ensembles in the human hippocampus. Current Biology 19: 546-554.
Kumaran D, Summerfield JJ, Hassabis D, Maguire EA. 2009. Tracking the emergence of conceptual knowledge during human decision making. Neuron 63: 889-901.
Hassabis D, Maguire EA. 2007. Deconstructing episodic memory with construction. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11: 299-306.
Hassabis D, Kumaran D, Vann SD, Maguire EA. 2007. Patients with hippocampal amnesia cannot imagine new experiences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 104: 1726-1731.