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Role of the parietal lobe in episodic memory retrieval (PARIETAL MEMORY)
Start date: Oct 15, 2007, End date: Aug 14, 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Previous studies have provided strong evidence that medial temporal lobe is crucial for episodic memory. However, recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies show larger posterior parietal activations for recognized items than for new items, suggesting that this brain area may play a role in episodic retrieval.The aim of the research project is to investigate the role of the posterior parietal cortex in episodic memory retrieval. We propose that the posterior parietal cortex might be involve d in orienting attention to the recovered memories, accessing memories from different points of view, and reinstating at retrieval the multisensory activity present at encoding.These hypotheses will be tested in 5 experiments. We will integrate behaviour al evidence on healthy people, lesion studies, and fMRI evidence. The outgoing phase will be conducted at the Rotman Research Institute, Toronto under the supervision of Morris Moscovitch, and will last 2 years.The return phase will be conducted at the Centro Studie Ricerche in Neuroscienze Cognitive, Cesena, under the supervision of Elisabetta Ladavas, and will last 1 year. The training at the Rotman Research Institute will help the researcher to become an expert in the cognitive neuroscience of memory, and in fMRI. This gained expertise will be then applied by the researcher to continue the project in the return host organization.The opportunity to work with American colleagues would contribute to create the basis for future international collaborations, and to enhance European scientific excellence in memory research. In particular, memory research is incredibly neglected in Italy.Thus, learning about memory and fMRI techniques will be extremely helpful to the future re-establishment of the researcher in Italian institutions. Finally, given that both the researcher and the supervisor for the return phase are women, our proposal encourages the participation of women in research.
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