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 in young adults
- 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.