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The Neural Correlates of Object Location Memory


Remembering where things are, for example, where you parked your car, is essential in everyday life. Without spatial memory, we would continuously be engaged in looking for our car, keys, phone, or glasses. Despite its obvious importance, a lot is still unknown about object location memory (OLM). This proposal aims to uncover mechanisms underlying OLM, specifically taking into consideration the influence of object knowledge on OLM (e.g. if an object is owned or familiar). These factors will be explored by examining individual differences (sex differences and ageing) in WP1, and testing the neural correlates of OLM in WP2.
With this aim, the following specific objectives have been established:
- Test individual differences in OLM (sex differences and ageing), conducting online studies to understand how
o reported sex differences relate to the cognitive mechanisms involved in OLM
o ageing affects the cognitive mechanisms involved in OLM
- Test how object knowledge (e.g. familiarity and ownership) affects OLM, in fMRI studies we will concurrently acquire neural activation and memory data, to:
o Explore the brain areas involved in OLM
o Test whether object knowledge effects on OLM are reflected in neural activity of brain areas responsible for the representation of peri-personal (reachable) and extra-personal (out of reach) space.
o Test whether neural activation at encoding is predictive of spatial memory error.
o Test whether these effects occur upon memory retrieval, or already at the stage of encoding, i.e. during object perception.
- Build a Dynamic Causal Model of typical (healthy) OLM, which can be used as a baseline for studies on atypical OLM (e.g. dementia)
The results obtained from this multidisciplinary project will be relevant in the fields of gerontology/dementia research, cognitive psychology/ cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, and neuro-psychology, and will inspire future applications for populations with atypical OLM.


Net EU contribution
€ 203 464,32
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht

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West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Partners (1)