9.912 Special Topics in Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Fall 2001

The hippocampus during conscious remembering of the past relative to memory based on stimulus familiarity.
The hippocampus (yellow region) is more active during conscious remembering (blue line) of the past, relative to when memory is based on stimulus familiarity (black line). (Image by Prof. Anthony Wagner.)

Course Highlights

Classes will primarily consist of group discussion of assigned neuroimaging readings, with the discussion of each article being student-led. It will be assumed that all course participants will have read both the seed article (if applicable) as well as the assigned imaging articles prior to class and will be prepared to contribute to the discussion. The objectives of the discussion will be to (a) consider each theoretical debate, including extant background literature presented in each paper, (b) review the appropriateness of the experimental design adopted to address the debate, (c) examine the resultant data and their implications, and (d) propose future empirical efforts that build on the implications of each study or that implements a more optimal design for addressing the question of interest. Each participant should consider these points and be prepared to contribute to their discussion during class.

Course Description

Memory is not a unitary faculty, but rather consists of multiple forms of learning that differ in their operating characteristics and neurobiological substrates. This seminar will consider current debates regarding the cognitive and neural architectures of memory, specifically focusing on recent efforts to address these controversies through application of functional neuroimaging (primarily fMRI and PET).
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Prof. Anthony Wagner

Course Meeting Times

One session / week
3 hours / session


Undergraduate / Graduate