Study explores association between memory and location

Participant wearing a portable electroencephalography (EEG) system

A new study, published in NeuroImage by Doctoral Researcher Ben Griffiths has illuminated how our brains associate a memorable event with where it occurred in the real world.

In the experiment, participants were equipped with a portable electroencephalography (EEG) system and exposed to a series of words across campus – much like the series of text messages you may be bombarded with on the way to the supermarket. Interestingly, the neural activity within the medial temporal lobe (a region strongly implicated in memory) became more desynchronised as words were more strongly associated with their location.

The findings provide a novel insight into how memories are associated with where they happen, and hint at an exciting future where ‘real world’ EEG experiments can be used to further examine how our brains function in daily life.

Reference

Griffiths, B., Mazaheri, A., Debener, S., & Hanslmayr, S. (2016). Brain oscillations track the formation of episodic memories in the real world. NeuroImage. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.09.021

View the paper