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    Learning and memory


    Research activity per year

    Personal profile


    I am interested in understanding the neurobiology of learning and memory, in particular, how different factors affect episodic, semantic and spatial memory. These different factors include emotion, novelty, prior knowledge, etc. I am also investigating different strategies to alleviate mild cognitive impairment and dementia symptoms.

    Although our understanding has greatly improved in recent years, there are still many important things that we do not know, such as why we remember some events yet forget others, and how the brain encodes memories and subsequently transfers them to long term memories.

    My current lines of research are:

    We learn new things better when we can relate them to prior knowledge (a schema). The concept of schemas was introduced in human psychology around 100 years ago. However, the neurobiology of schema is not well known. Previously, my colleagues and I found that new information can be assimilated into neocortical schemas very rapidly via systems consolidation. I am now investigating possible mechanisms underlying schema formation and how information is assimilated into a schema. This may also have implications for educational aspects of learning and memory.

    Are there any effective behavioural methods to delay memory decline, especially in early stages of dementia? Recent research using animal models has indicated possible ways to improve memory. However, translational studies with humans and animals remain challenging. I am interested in looking into different therapeutic strategies to alleviate cognitive impairment and delay memory decline in dementia.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action

    Education/Academic qualification

    Neuroscience, Schema and Memory Consolidation, University of Edinburgh

    Award Date: 30 Nov 2011


    • RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
    • B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion

    Research Institutes

    • Institute for Social Responsibility

    Research Centres

    • Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing


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