30 Nov

PhD conferral Hannah Bernhard

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Peter de Weerd

Co-supervisors: Dr. Joel Reithler, Dr. Rob Rouhl

Keywords: Memory, sleep, event processing, hippocampus

"In The Event Of Memory: Behavioral and brain processes supporting the formation of episodic memories"

When you think back to your last birthday, you may remember the cake you ate and the surprise party that was thrown for you, and, if asked, you could tell these events to another person. The human capacity of episodic memory makes it possible for us to mentally time travel and revisit past experiences. Unlike other forms of learning, episodic memory is formed after single experience and does not require repetition of information (think of studying for a vocabulary test). Although we don’t consciously rehearse the events of our birthday, during sleep our brains reactivate this information to manifest experience into plastic changes in the brain. This thesis investigated how behavioral and neural processes during the experience of events, and the period immediately following those events, may lead to remembering or forgetting. To this end, short movie clips were used to approximate real-life event processing in a laboratory context. The second part of this thesis investigated how different brain networks may coordinate their activity during sleep.

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