Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Alexander Backus (Donders series 295)

22 september 2017

Promotor: prof. dr. D. Norris, copromotor: prof. dr. C. Döller

Connecting the dots: The mechanisms of associative memory in hippocampus and neocortex

Humans have the amazing ability to encode, retain and retrieve information about past events. Memory is vital for everyday life, but how does our brain support this function? In this dissertation, I show that the hippocampus, a specialized brain structure, can combine different aspects of an event (what, where, when) into one coherent memory, while at the same time being strongly connected to many other brain regions. Moreover, when a new memory is created, we can observe changes in the information content of the hippocampus from brain scans. To integrate information from multiple memories and infer indirect relationships, the hippocampus communicates with the frontal lobe, facilitated by brain waves. The insights and the developed methodologies of this dissertation are important for future neuroscientific research. In addition, they can be used to develop innovative applications in the clinical and educational domain.