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Innovators in Cognitive Neuroscience: May 1, 2024

Serra Favila

Serra Favila

Postdoctoral Scientist, Columbia University

Assistant Professor, Brown University (July 2024)

Favila website

Transforming visual experiences into adaptive long-term memories

Abstract: Long-term memory allows humans to exploit information encountered in the past in order to behave more adaptively in the present. However, our memories are not perfect snapshots of our perceptual experiences. My research explores the cognitive and neural pressures that shape what sensory information is stored in long-term memory and how this information is stored in a way that benefits later behavior. In my talk, I will highlight a series of fMRI experiments that seek to determine (i) how the visual content of memory is actively molded by competing memories, task factors, and intrinsic neural architecture; and (ii) how these memory transformations promote adaptive behavior. Together, these experiments highlight the diverse pressures on human visual memory and how they combine to produce a system that is flexible, efficient, and adaptive.