Thesis defense Naomi de Haas (Donders series 510)
28 June 2021
Promotors: Prof. dr. Christian F.A Döller, Prof. dr. Roshan Cools
Co-promotors: Dr. Mona M. Garvert
Mapping space, episodes and values in the hippocampus
Spatial and episodic memory are two core forms of memory. Spatial memory allows the formation of a mental map of our environment, whereas episodic memory allows remembering specific events of our life. Interestingly, these seemingly different functions rely on the same brain structure: the hippocampus. Which brings me tot he core question of this thesis: how does the hippocampus support so seemingly different functions as spatial and episodic memory?
To answer this question, we let participants learn new spatial and episodic associations in virtual reality, while recording their brain activity. The work of this thesis reinforces the idea that the hippocampus uses similar mechanisms to support these two functions. It shows that the hippocampus forms flexible maps and that these maps can integrate spatial and episodic information.