Special Issue "The Mechanisms of Memory in the Brain"

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Elizabeth Race
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Tufts University, 490 Boston Avenue, Medford, MA 02155, USA
Interests: learning; memory; cognitive control; neuroplasticity; amnesia

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last 20 years, there have been revolutionary advances in the understanding of human memory. These advances have been facilitated by the development of sophisticated brain imaging techniques, as well as targeted experimental investigations of impaired and preserved function in neuropsychological populations. A common theme emerging from this work is that the brain is not a tabula rasa, waiting to be activated by external stimuli. Instead, the brain continually generates predictions based on past experience and stored knowledge. These memory-based predictions provide expectations about the future that serve as a scaffold to shape our thoughts, decisions, and actions.

This Special Issue is intended to present and discuss the potential cognitive and neural mechanisms that support this proactive use of memory. Topics include: (1) What are the neural mechanisms that support the creation of internal predictions based on prior experiences and stored knowledge? (2) Do predictions based on different types of memory (e.g., implicit/explicit, semantic/episodic) rely on independent or overlapping cognitive and neural systems? (3) How does the brain use memory-based predictions flexibly and adaptively to optimize cognition and behavior?

Submissions related to the mechanisms of predictive memory function in health, disease, and across the lifespan will be considered, with preference given to articles with a clear empirical component (including hypothesis testing, model building, or a review of empirical work).

Dr. Elizabeth Race
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Brain Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Memory
  • Prediction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Hippocampus

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessCommunication
Automaticity and Flexibility of S–R Retrieval During Priming
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(6), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci7060065 - 13 Jun 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Learned associations between stimuli and responses (S–R associations) make important contributions to behavioral and neural priming. The current study investigated the automaticity and flexibility of these S–R associations and whether the global task context in which they occur modulates the impact of S–R [...] Read more.
Learned associations between stimuli and responses (S–R associations) make important contributions to behavioral and neural priming. The current study investigated the automaticity and flexibility of these S–R associations and whether the global task context in which they occur modulates the impact of S–R retrieval on priming. Participants engaged in a semantic repetition priming task in which S–R retrieval is known to influence priming. Across participants, repetition priming occurred in global task contexts (i.e., combination of activated task sets) that either remained consistent or shifted across time. In the stable context group, the global task context at study matched that at test, whereas in the shifting context group, the global task context at study differed from that at test. Results revealed that the stability of the global task context did not affect the magnitude of S–R contributions to priming and that S–R contributions to priming were significant in both the stable and shifting context groups. These results highlight the robustness of S–R contributions to priming and indicate that S–R associations can flexibly transfer across changes in higher-level task states. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Mechanisms of Memory in the Brain)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Impairment and Memory in Genetic Disorders: Insights from Mouse Models
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci7020017 - 09 Feb 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Research across the cognitive and brain sciences has begun to elucidate some of the processes that guide navigation and spatial memory. Boundary geometry and featural landmarks are two distinct classes of environmental cues that have dissociable neural correlates in spatial representation and follow [...] Read more.
Research across the cognitive and brain sciences has begun to elucidate some of the processes that guide navigation and spatial memory. Boundary geometry and featural landmarks are two distinct classes of environmental cues that have dissociable neural correlates in spatial representation and follow different patterns of learning. Consequently, spatial navigation depends both on the type of cue available and on the type of learning provided. We investigated this interaction between spatial representation and memory by administering two different tasks (working memory, reference memory) using two different environmental cues (rectangular geometry, striped landmark) in mouse models of human genetic disorders: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWScrm+/p− mice, n = 12) and Beta-catenin mutation (Thr653Lys-substituted mice, n = 12). This exploratory study provides suggestive evidence that these models exhibit different abilities and impairments in navigating by boundary geometry and featural landmarks, depending on the type of memory task administered. We discuss these data in light of the specific deficits in cognitive and brain function in these human syndromes and their animal model counterparts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Mechanisms of Memory in the Brain)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Memory Activity Distributions Indicate the Hippocampus Operates in a Continuous Manner
Brain Sci. 2016, 6(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci6030037 - 26 Aug 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
There is a long-standing debate as to whether recollection is a continuous/graded process or a threshold/all-or-none process. In the current spatial memory functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we examined the hippocampal activity distributions—the magnitude of activity as a function of memory strength—to [...] Read more.
There is a long-standing debate as to whether recollection is a continuous/graded process or a threshold/all-or-none process. In the current spatial memory functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we examined the hippocampal activity distributions—the magnitude of activity as a function of memory strength—to determine the nature of processing in this region. During encoding, participants viewed abstract shapes in the left or right visual field. During retrieval, old shapes were presented at fixation and participants classified each shape as previously in the “left” or “right” visual field followed by an “unsure”–“sure”–“very sure” confidence rating. The contrast of left-hits and left-misses produced two activations in the hippocampus. The hippocampal activity distributions for left shapes and right shapes were completely overlapping. Critically, the magnitude of activity associated with right-miss-very sure responses was significantly greater than zero. These results support the continuous model of recollection, which predicts overlapping activity distributions, and contradict the threshold model of recollection, which predicts a threshold above which only one distribution exists. Receiver operating characteristic analysis did not distinguish between models. The present results demonstrate that the hippocampus operates in a continuous manner during recollection and highlight the utility of analyzing activity distributions to determine the nature of neural processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Mechanisms of Memory in the Brain)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Role of Odor-Evoked Memory in Psychological and Physiological Health
Brain Sci. 2016, 6(3), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci6030022 - 19 Jul 2016
Cited by 17
Abstract
This article discusses the special features of odor-evoked memory and the current state-of-the-art in odor-evoked memory research to show how these unique experiences may be able to influence and benefit psychological and physiological health. A review of the literature leads to the conclusion [...] Read more.
This article discusses the special features of odor-evoked memory and the current state-of-the-art in odor-evoked memory research to show how these unique experiences may be able to influence and benefit psychological and physiological health. A review of the literature leads to the conclusion that odors that evoke positive autobiographical memories have the potential to increase positive emotions, decrease negative mood states, disrupt cravings, and reduce physiological indices of stress, including systemic markers of inflammation. Olfactory perception factors and individual difference characteristics that would need to be considered in therapeutic applications of odor-evoked-memory are also discussed. This article illustrates how through the experimentally validated mechanisms of odor-associative learning and the privileged neuroanatomical relationship that exists between olfaction and the neural substrates of emotion, odors can be harnessed to induce emotional and physiological responses that can improve human health and wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Mechanisms of Memory in the Brain)
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