Melina Uncapher, Phd


“Life is full of major and minor crises...and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It’s difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul.”

        - Thomas Moore

How does life etch itself into our brains? How do our brains form enduring memories for the rich tapestry of our experience? This, in essence, is the broad question I have been exploring and is the focus of my current research projects. These projects employ functional neuroimaging to investigate the following questions:

How does attention modulate the neural correlates of the formation of such 'episodic' memories?

•How are multi-dimensional memories formed in the brain? Is it simply a result of the concurrent encoding of the individual elements, or is it more than the sum of its parts?

•How do brain regions communicate with each other when we're retrieving episodic memories?

•How is an enduring memory formed in the brain? Is it different from the formation of memories lasting shorter periods of time?

•How do our brains lay down memories under conditions of distraction?