Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session
This course is an investigation to distinguish episodic memory, which is memory of personal events, from semantic memory, which is general knowledge independent of time and place. The major task is to create episodic stimuli, individually tailored for each participant, using diaries and journals, as well as interviews with the participant's friends and family members. Further, a second task is to assist with scanning the participant at MGH/MIT/HMS Martinos Center, explaining the study to the participant, preparing the participant for scanning, and administering a questionnaire after the scanning session. An additional task is to create and distribute a recruiting flyer.
There is a sequence of six assignments designed for the future researcher to start from an idea and a research question, and to proceed methodically through each step, from data collection to analysis, and finally to publication of the original work. This is a practical class that helps students develop the tools to become future researchers in the field.
The assignments culminate in a 15- to 20-page final paper of publishable quality in a peer-reviewed journal.