Schemas and memory in the primate cortex


Title: Schemas and memory in the primate cortex
Directors: Sylvia WIRTH & Sze Chai KWOK
Discipline: Cognitive sciences
Status: Incubating Project
Starting date: 2020




Episodic memories are made as we go about our daily life: what event has happened, with whom, where and when. Throughout life, we also learn to generalize across episodes, and develop mental schemas that help us to interpret the world we live in. Beyond supporting predictions about the world we live in, these schemas could also act as a scaffolding to new memories. The proposed Incubating Project (new project) for JORISS 2019 will target at neural mechanisms of episodic memory formation such as schema formation and retrieval in life-like conditions using novel behavioral paradigms and advanced neurophysiological methods on awake nonhuman primates. As related to the JORISS 2019 priority in aging research, the project aims to bring in benefits for human aging research from a basic neuroscience angle. Alongside with the global ageing problem, various kinds of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia are getting increasingly commonplace. Memory loss, especially that of episodic details (e.g., order of events, locations, and overall schematic representation), is often the clinical symptom that predates Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The program here aims to unravel the neurobiological basis of such memory deficits, in order to elucidate the neural mechanisms of deficits related to episodic memory and ultimately provide insights into their remedies for clinicians.