Project Description

Memory and the Predictive Brain – a Developmental Perspective

Module content

  • Acquire basic knowledge of memory systems, their neural underpinnings, the predictive brain perspective, and how these components come together within a developmental perspective
  • Learn about neuroimaging methodologies and open science practices in experimental psychology
  • Programme – The course is taught in English (4 ECTS)
  • Requirements – to be announced
  • Programme fee – tba. (includes all study materials, transcript of records, and health, liability and accident insurance as well as a public transportation ticket within Frankfurt).
  • Application deadline – tba.

Course description

Memory is one of the key pillars which determine ourselves as human beings. It enables us to remember the past and to travel into the future.

Similarly, predictive processes are assumed to play a crucial role not only at low-level perceptual stages but also at a higher cognitive level, operating among memory systems to project ourselves into the future and to make sense of an inherently dynamic world. To this end, the brain is assumed to exploit environmental regularities and use error feedback to learn about its surroundings and to improve future predictions. Since all these processes and fundamental computations rely on the brains plasticity and flexibility, which are both subject to age-dependent changes and decay, it is necessary to take a developmental perspective that spans from early childhood to older age in order to understand the developmental trace of the interplay between memory and prediction.

In this module, students will acquire basic knowledge of memory systems, their neural underpinnings, the predictive brain perspective, and how these components come together within a developmental perspective. Furthermore, students will be introduced to neuroimaging methodologies (particularly functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI) and open science practices in experimental psychology.

The course comprises 28 contact hours (8*3.5 hours). Upon successful completion, 4 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) points will be awarded for the module. A single ECTS point is defined as the equivalent of 25 to 30 hours of student workload. This includes class hours, additional preparations for class activities, readings, assignments as well as final assessments. The final evaluation will be based on a presentation at the end of the module. Assessment and award of credit points will be on a pass/fail basis, no grades will be given.

Attendance: Participants have to attend at least 80 % of the classes.

Instructors

Prof. Dr. Yee Lee Shing is the Principal Investigator of the LISCO Lab. She is also Professor of Development Psychology at the Institute of Psychology. She studies the development of cognitive and brain functioning across the human lifespan, with an emphasis on episodic memory. Using functional neuroimaging, Yee Lee’s research focuses on: (1) the development of associative and strategic components of memory across the lifespan; (2) the effects of environmental factors such as formal school entry and socioeconomic disadvantages on cognitive and brain development; and (3) the mechanisms through which our brain generates predictions with the help of memory.

 

Dr. Javier Ortiz-Tudela, is a Postdoctoral researcher at the LISCO Lab. He is currently working on the interactions memory systems and memory traces and our brain’s predictive behavior. His main research interest is on predictive behavior at different stages during information processing: from anticipation of incoming sensory inputs to the eventual storage (or loss) of specific events.

 

Isabelle Ehrlich, Msc, is a doctoral student at the LISCO Lab. Her research interests comprise the predictive coding framework, memory systems and the interplay between predictive and memory processes across the lifespan. As member of the PIVOTAL project, she uses brain imaging techniques, especially fMRI, to uncover the nature and neural implementation of these components.