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The ability to remember the past is critical for many levels of human behavior, from day-to-daybehaviors, such as remembering to take medications or recognizing previously encountered people, places, and things, to other fundamental cognitive abilities, such as the development and use of language. Memory is central to who we are and how we behave, with knowledge about the past informing decisions about how to act in the present. Broadly, the objective of the research in the Stanford Memory Laboratory is to understand how memory is organized and supported by the mind and brain. A particular emphasis is placed on understanding the interaction between cognitive control and long-term memory, as well as on delineating the nature of "cross-talk" between different forms of memory (e.g., interactions between declarative and nondeclarative processes). In the course of these efforts, we further aim to characterize the functional contributions of prefrontal and medial temporal regions to learning and remembering.

In our research, we adopt a multi-modal imaging approach that combines the spatial resolution of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with the temporal resolution of magnetoencephalography (MEG) and, more recently, electroencephalography (EEG). FMRI characterizes the functional contributions of specific brain regions to memory, and anatomical MRI guides the solutions for MEG/EEG analysis of cortical temporal dynamics. This approach is complemented by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)--a technique permitting the momentary disruption of local cortical activity in healthy individuals--thus affording a test of the necessity of cortical computations for memory. Recent applications of this integrative approach have contributed to knowledge about the neural mechanisms supporting memory, including demonstrating the necessity of specific structures for learning [Kahn et al., 2005] and the temporal profile of neural responses during remembering [Gonsalves et al., 2005]. As summarized below, our goal is to understand memory both at the neural and psychological levels.