Christian Doeller wins Radboud Science Award

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Dr. Christian Doeller is head of the Doeller research group at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Christian Doeller at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience has been awarded the Radboud Science Award for his research on how the brain links memories of different events to form one coherent memory. To answer this question, he and his team used pictures and videos of the computer game “The Sims” to create stories. They then showed these stories to participants lying in an MRI scanner and recorded brain activity while people remembered events. They found that the brain forms memory networks of related events which are encoded hierarchically in a brain structure called the hippocampus. How these memory hierarchies are organized resembles what is known about how space is encoded in the brain. “Our findings might point towards a more general code for cognition” says Christian Doeller. “Our memories are what defines our personality and improving our understanding of these mechanisms will be crucial in understanding cognition and neural breakdown in neurodegenerative diseases”.

Screenshots from the computer game showed to participants while recording their brain activity in an MRI scanner.

Screenshots from the computer game showed to participants while recording their brain activity in an MRI scanner