Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Ph.D. Stanford University
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University
Research Interests: Cognitive Neuroscience, Memory, Cognitive Control, fMRI Methods
Overview: I am interested in how our perceptual experiences are transformed into memories and how we recreate and selectively recall these experiences. Research in my lab makes use of behavioral and neuroimaging methods (primarily fMRI) with an emphasis on applying machine learning algorithms and multivariate pattern analyses to neuroimaging data in order to understand how memories are represented and transformed in distributed patterns of brain activity.
Some of the specific topics my lab addresses include: What are the cognitive and neural mechanisms that cause forgetting? How is competition between memories signaled and resolved in the brain during retrieval? How do we reduce interference between memories during encoding? Addressing these questions involves understanding the interactions and relative contributions of fronto-parietal cortex and medial temporal lobe structures.
Nat Commun. 2021 Aug 10;12(1):4816. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25126-0.
Remapping refers to a decorrelation of hippocampal representations of similar spatial environments. While it has been speculated that remapping may contribute to the resolution of episodic memory interference in humans, direct evidence is surprisingly limited. We tested this idea using high-resolution, pattern-based fMRI analyses. Here we show that activity patterns in human CA3/dentate gyrus exhibit an abrupt, temporally-specific decorrelation of highly similar memory representations that is precisely coupled with behavioral expressions of successful learning. The magnitude of this learning-related decorrelation was predicted by the amount of pattern overlap during initial stages of learning, with greater initial overlap leading to stronger decorrelation. Finally, we show that remapped activity patterns carry relatively more information about learned episodic associations compared to competing associations, further validating the learning-related significance of remapping. Collectively, these findings establish a critical link between hippocampal remapping and episodic memory interference and provide insight into why remapping occurs.