Hippocampus Unites Memory systems by preserving sequential order

01 November 2022 → 31 October 2027
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Neuroimaging
    • Cognitive processes
    • Learning and behaviour
    • Motor processes and action
Learning & Memory fMRI Multi-variate pattern analyses Hippocampus
Project description

It is generally assumed that there are two distinct memory systems in the human brain: declarative memory supports memories for facts and events, while procedural memory supports the retention of our motor skills. However, recent evidence suggests that these multiple memory systems are less independent than originally thought and that the hippocampus, historically associated with declarative memory, is also involved in procedural motor memory. Accordingly, the current project proposes and tests an integrative framework that specifies the shared neural processes that support learning and memory across multiple memory systems. Specifically, given that declarative episodic and procedural motor memories consist of temporally organized sequences of events and movements, and the hippocampus is critical to preserve sequential order of experiences, I will investigate whether the neural mechanisms of sequential order processing supported by the hippocampus are jointly used in declarative episodic and procedural motor memory. Findings in the proposed research will fill a gap in the field by providing a detailed characterization of the role of the hippocampus in multiple memory systems. The findings will offer the opportunity to reconsider the dichotomous models of memory classification and develop more integrative views of memory organization. Moreover, it will open new avenues for the development of integrative treatment of procedural and declarative memory deficits.