Memory is central to who we are and how we behave, with knowledge about the past informing thoughts and decisions in the present. Learning and memory provide critical knowledge that guides everyday activities, from remembering to take medications or recognizing previously encountered people, places, and things, to representing our goals and navigating our worlds.

The research objectives of the Stanford Memory Laboratory are to understand the psychological and neural mechanisms that build memories and enable their expression, as well as how these mechanisms change with age and disease. Current research directions – which combine behavior, brain imaging, virtual reality, and computational approaches – include:

  • delineating how cognitive control and attention modulate learning and memory
  • specifying the mnemonic computations and representations supported by the hippocampus and medial temporal cortex, and their interactions with frontoparietal networks
  • examining how memory performance in healthy older adults relates to brain structure and brain function, and to molecular and genetic risks for Alzheimer's disease

More details about our work can be found under Research and Publications


In Press & Just Out

  • Brain Science for Lawyers, Judges, and Policymakers now available
  • Heinbockel, H., Wagner, A. D., & Schwabe, L. (in press). Post-retrieval stress impairs subsequent memory depending on hippocampal memory trace reinstatement during reactivation. Science Advances.
  • Bonnen et al – Medial temporal cortex supports computational visual inferences – bioRxiv
  • LaRocque et al. (2023). When multi-voxel pattern similarity and global activation are intertwined: Approaches to disentangling correlation from activation – bioRxiv
  • Fernandez et al (2023). Representational integration and differentiation in the human hippocampus following goal-directed navigation – eLife
  • Tran et al – Mnemonic bridging across events relates to individual-differences in sustained attention in younger and older adults – Preprint
  • Oxford Handbook of Human Memory (Kahana & Wagner, Eds) is now in production. Thank you to all of the authors for contributing outstanding chapters!  – Table of Contents

News & Events

  • Alex He joins the Stanford Memory Lab; welcome, Alex!
  • Haopei Yang receives a 2024 McKnight Clinical Translational Research Scholarship in Cognitive Aging and Age-Related Memory Loss. Congratulations, HY!
  • Tyler Bonnen receives University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellowship. Congratulations, Tyler!
  • Ali Trelle takes Instructor position in Stanford School of Medicine and is awarded an F99/R00 from the NIA. Congratulations, Ali!
  • How artificial neural networks help us understand neural networks in the human brain, Stanford HAI
  • Poor memory tied to attention lapses and media multitasking, Stanford Report
  • Why some older adults remember better than others, Stanford Report
  • Stanford Undergradates interested in research –– contact us to get involved!