Memory provides a bridge between past and present. Through memory, past sensations, feelings, and ideas that have dropped from conscious awareness can be subsequently recovered to guide current thought and action. In this manner, memory allows us to locate our car in the parking lot at the end of the day or guides us to avoid retelling the same joke to the same friend. This seminar will focus on how memories are created and controlled such that we are able to remember the past. Recent insights from non-human electrophysiological and human brain imaging research will be emphasized.

Course Structure

The initial lectures will focus on how stimulus and event representations are attended in a goal-directed manner, as well as how cognitive control guides memory formation and retrieval. An emphasis will be placed on considering the role of the frontal lobes in memory. The second week will consider recent evidence regarding how memories are created in the brain, with an emphasis placed on contributions from medial-temporal lobe neural structures.


The course will consist of lectures and a final quiz. Students who take the course for credit are expected to attend all lectures and to pass the quiz. The quiz will probe for comprehension of the central concepts discussed in each lecture, and will be pass/fail.