9.081 | Fall 2002 | Graduate

Human Memory and Learning


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session


Other than that which is genetically coded, everything we know is derived from and reflects memory for our past experiences. Memory is intimately involved in most, if not all, levels of human cognition, from the ability to temporarily remember a phone number or where you placed your keys to the acquisition of language and the ability to reason. This lecture and seminar course will consider recent efforts to understand the cognitive and neural architectures of memory through application of functional neuroimaging methods (primarily fMRI and PET). Lectures will survey the literature on the cognitive neuroscience of memory. Subsequent group discussion will consider the neuroimaging literature within the context of cognitive theories of memory and functional neuroanatomic hypotheses. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Structure

Classes will consist of a survey lectures followed by student presentation/group discussion of assigned readings. Lectures will consider the cognitive and neuroscientific literatures on the organization of memory, and on the application of neuroimaging to the study of memory. Discussion and student presentations will focus on the implications of recent neuroimaging investigations.


H. Eichenbaum, and N.J. Cohen. From Conditioning to Conscious Recollection. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Course Requirements

  • 30% for class participation. Both the Background and Imaging readings should be completed prior to class. Students should be prepared to contribute to the discussion of the neuroimaging articles.
  • 30% for paper presentations. Each student will briefly (20-30 minutes) present recent neuroimaging papers and will lead group discussion at multiple points during the term. The objectives of the presentation are to consider the motivation, methods, results, and implications of the article, serving to initiate the day’s discussion of this and the related assigned articles.
  • 40% for an experimental research proposal. This proposal should advance a novel neuroimaging investigation aimed to address any aspect of memory considered during the course. The proposal (approx. 10-15 pages) should describe the background, experimental design, analysis approach, predicted results, and theoretical implications. Proposals will be due on the last day of class and will be briefly presented (~15 minutes) during the final class meeting.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2002
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments