The medial temporal lobes (MTL) are the critical substrate for episodic memory. It is undisputed that a division of labor exists within the MTL. However, there is very little consensus as to how to best characterize these distinctions. Although some convergent evidence exists for a division of labor, particularly concerning the distinction between perirhinal and hippocampal encoding processes, the nature of the distinction between perirhinal and parahippocampal cortex has been underspecified. Although there is strong convergence in the literature supporting a role for the hippocampus in relational processing, the role of the MTL cortex in item processing/familiarity is less well defined, and only partially supported by the literature. Importantly, investigation into the extent and form of domain specificity within MTL cortex will contribute substantially to our understanding of episodic memory function. A fundamental hallmark of normal and abnormal aging, as well as some psychopathologies, is the alteration in episodic memory. Through an understanding of the functional architecture of the episodic memory system, great insight can be gleaned into these memory related deficits that, for example, occur during disease progression as a consequence of Alzheimer's disease or have been seen in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying the formation of human memory is an important step in efforts to describe and treat conditions that impact memory and will, thus, have a great impact on public health issues regarding treatment of such conditions. The research proposed will use functional magnetic resonance imaging to elucidate the functions of the MTL considering informational domain as being critical to a complete model of MTL organization (Aims 1 and 2). In addition, whether relational encoding and retrieval, thought to be a hallmark of hippocampal function, extends to the binding of episodic events in time will be explored (AIM 3)

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Study Section (LAM)
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Osborn, Bettina D
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New York University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
New York
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Heusser, Andrew C; Ezzyat, Youssef; Shiff, Ilana et al. (2018) Perceptual boundaries cause mnemonic trade-offs between local boundary processing and across-trial associative binding. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 44:1075-1090
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