Jeremy Caplan's teaching for 2018/2019:

Fall 2018: PSYCO 403/505 A6/A5: Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory

(open to graduate and undergraduate students from all departments)

Cognitive psychology and neuroscience of memory is a rapidly growing and exciting field of research. It is still relatively young, which means we are still working out even how to ask relevant and meaningful questions in this field. Importantly, in recent years, researchers have attempted to integrated electrophysiology and neuroimaging methods more directly with behavioural research and mathematical models of behaviour, which is a major advance over earlier, more descriptive approaches. In this seminar-format course we will talk about how brain-activity methods can help us understand how memory works. We will stick to research that bridges between behavioural and brain-activity fields, with primary focus on human episodic memory.

Pre-requisites: Some basic cognitive neuroscience (EEG and fMRI, such as PSYCO 375) knowledge and some knowledge of experimental psychology of memory (such as PSYCO 350). Simply having taken psychology courses previously is not a firm requirement. Note that for qualified students from other departments, Psychology course pre-requisites might be waived (consult the Instructor). The following is a self-quiz you can try to assess your preparedness or identify areas to read up on:

  • What do EEG and fMRI measure? How does that relate to neuronal activity?
  • What are the spatial and temporal resolution of EEG and fMRI?
  • What is the difference between MRI and fMRI?
  • What is an ERP, and how does that relate to EEG?
  • What is an oscillation, and how is that different from ERPs?
  • What is the multiple-comparisons problem?
  • What is a pre-stimulus baseline?
  • What is the critique of "functional mapping"?
  • Sketch your favourite EEG or fMRI result, and explain what we learn from it
  • Sketch and explain your favourite memory result
  • What is episodic memory, and how is it different from semantic memory?
  • Name five factors that influence memory success
  • What is a serial-position curve?
  • How do these tasks differ from each other: recognition, free recall, serial recall, cued recall

For other courses of interest:

Check out the Alberta Cognitive Neuroscience group