Anna Jafarpour, Ph.D. University of Washington
Neural mechanisms for perception and memory of a sequence of events
We encounter the world as a sequence of events, but we remember past experiences as episodes. In a series of studies, I will discuss how the processing of sequences impacts memory. First, I will show that attention to a sequence of discrete stimuli at encoding affects the content of working memory. Second, I will demonstrate that a sequence of events can provide a context to enable preparatory activation for memory recall and speeded response time. Finally, I will show that there is an individual variability in determining boundaries within sequences of events. Notably, these individual differences in discretizing a sequence reflect the individual’s working memory forgetting rate. Further, the individual differences in sequence segmentation were associated with distinct long-term memory strategies. Together, the research described in this talk utilized various computational techniques and data types (behavior, MEG, and intracranial EEG) for studying how we parse and remember a naturalistic sequence of events.