Congratulations to Maria who just got awarded a 5-year, €1.5 Mio research grant from the European Research Council. The project aims to uncover the neural processes and spatio-temporal dynamics of memory reconstruction. Most memory researchers would agree that our memories are not truthful recounts of past experiences, and that remembering is a reconstructive process that is heavily influenced by our expectations and prior knowledge. How exactly this reconstruction takes place, step-by-step, in the brain, however, is still unknown. Maria's team will use advanced brain imaging techniqes to track the re-emergence of different features of memories in real-time, based on distributed patterns of brain activity. These techniques make it possible to observe how the process of remembering unfolds in time, and how our memories change over time when we repeatedly bring them back to mind.
1.9 million euro ERC grant awarded to Simon Hanslmayr to explore memory coding in human brains. Episodic memory is the time machinery that allows us to mentally travel back in time in order to relive past experiences, often in great sensory detail. These memories are highly associative and very information rich, but how are these memories coded in human brains? Neural oscillations, regulating the synchrony of neural assemblies, are ideally suited to accomplish these two functions, but it is still unclear how synchronization and desynchronization are orchestrated in neural networks to achieve persistent memory. This is the question tackled by Simon and his team in this ERC-funded project.