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UCD: Memory And Development Lab » Neurodevelopment of Episodic Memory

Neurodevelopment of Episodic Memory

  We are examining the neural correlates of the development of episodic memory. Neuroimaging studies of the healthy adult brain have indicated that specific brain structures are involved in the ability to recollect events from one’s past (e.g., hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex etc.). Research has also shown that these brain structures undergo important developmental changes during childhood and adolescence.
     In addition to regional changes in structure and function, development may also occur in connections among the network of regions supporting episodic memory. Thus, we also investigated changes in white matter integrity and functional connections among these regions.
      We have been conducting experimental studies involving children between the ages of 7 and 14 and adults. These experiments have examined the developing relationship between brain and function and: (a) the ability to recollect; and (b) the ability to distinguish between true and false memories.

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      We are also currently in the beginning stages of a new large-scale longitudinal study testing children three times between age 8 and 14. The main goal of this study is to investigate the contribution of structural and functional changes of the hippocampus and its projections to the development of episodic memory. To address this goal, we will collect structural and functional MRI data as well as DTI data (See Hippo Study webpage).