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Hippocampus mediates unconscious learning, consolidation and retrieval of episodes

English title Hippocampus mediates unconscious learning, consolidation and retrieval of episodes
Applicant Henke Westerholt Katharina
Number 114012
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie Institut für Psychologie Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Start/End 01.11.2006 - 30.04.2012
Approved amount 298'297.00
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Keywords (6)

learning; memory; hippocampus; sleep; memory consolidation; functional magnetic resonance imaging

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
The prominent models of human long-term memory systems do not account for an unconscious form of rapid relational learning. Rapid relational learning is a process that occurs automatically as we encode and store the happenings of our daily living from one moment to the next. These prominent models do neither envision a role for the hippocampus - a brain structure known to be essential for conscious learning - in any form of unconscious learning. In subproject A, we will perform behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments measuring brain function in normal subjects to test for unconscious rapid relational learning and retrieval. We investigate the semantic nature of unconsciously formed associations, the integrity of these associations over time and the circumstances of their optimal fixation in memory. In subproject B, we record the electroencephalogram from depth electrodes implanted in bilateral hippocampus of epilepsy patients while they perform unconscious and conscious relational learning and retrieval tasks. This project will allow us to observe human hippocampal activity and hippocampal connectivity with other brain structures during unconscious learning and retrieval. In subproject C, the hypothesis will be tested that the hippocampus is really necessary for unconscious rapid relational learning/retrieval. To this aim, we will examine patients with bilateral hippocampal damage with relational learning tasks. The results of these projects might have a significant impact on theories of human long-term memory and information processing theories. The results will provide for new, patient-friendly ways of assessing and monitoring hippocampal (dys)function.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Integrating unseen events over time.
Reber Thomas P, Henke Katharina (2012), Integrating unseen events over time., in Consciousness and cognition, 21(2), 953-60.
Unconscious Relational Inference Recruits the Hippocampus
Reber TP, Luechinger R, Boesiger P, Henke K (2012), Unconscious Relational Inference Recruits the Hippocampus, in JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, 32(18), 6138-6148.
Rapid formation and flexible expression of memories of subliminal word pairs.
Reber Thomas P, Henke Katharina (2011), Rapid formation and flexible expression of memories of subliminal word pairs., in Frontiers in psychology, 2, 343-343.
Suppressed, but Not Forgotten
Meier B, Konig A, Parak S, Henke K (2011), Suppressed, but Not Forgotten, in SWISS JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY, 70(1), 5-11.
Formation of semantic associations between subliminally presented face-word pairs
Duss SB, Oggier S, Reber TP, Henke K (2011), Formation of semantic associations between subliminally presented face-word pairs, in CONSCIOUSNESS AND COGNITION, 20(3), 928-935.
A model for memory systems based on processing modes rather than consciousness.
Henke Katharina (2010), A model for memory systems based on processing modes rather than consciousness., in Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 11(7), 523-32.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Meeting of the ASSC (Association for the scientific study of consciousness) 02.07.2012 Brighton, UK
Cognitive neuroscience society meeting 31.03.2012 Chicago, USA


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Woche des Gehirns 19.03.2010 Bern, Schweiz


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
67114 Preclinical neuropsychological and neurophysiological markers forAlzheimer's disease 01.12.2002 Project funding (Div. I-III)
119953 Does slow wave sleep strengthen the memory traces of both consciously and nonconsciously encoded episodes? 01.05.2008 Interdisciplinary projects

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