Prof. Dr. Axel Mecklinger
The Experimental Neuropsychology Unit
Our research is concerned with the neurocognitive basis of learning and memory. We adapt a systems view of memory that allows to examine (i) the functional architecture of different memory systems such as episodic memory or semantic memory, (ii) the processes by which information is transferred between these memory systems and (iii) factors that influence memory systems. In this framework, we consider learning as the processes of creating new or modulating existing memory traces. Another core claim is that memory control processes can be recruited at different stages of mnemonic processing to modulate memory representations in the service of current tasks or goals.
To achieve a comprehensive understanding of learning and memory systems, we additionally examine the neural underpinning of these systems using event-related potentials (ERPs), EEG frequency measures as well as fMRI measures. These methods allow to monitor the neural correlates of learning and memory processes with sufficiently high temporal and spatial resolution. Recently we started to explore the capability of intervention techniques like neurofeedback training or neuro stimulation (tDCs) to enhance cognitive and memory processes.
Important insights in the neurocognitive basis of memory can be achieved by exploring adult cognitive development. Thus, in another area of research we examine the cognitive aging of episodic memory and the circumstances under which age-related decline in episodic memory can be compensated by external or internal support factors.
New DFG project approved:
"The aging episodic memory and its Plasticity: A cross cultural approach"
Project duration is three years.
Collaborators are Prof. Dr. Jutta Kray (Department of Psychology) and Prof. Dr. Juan Li (Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing)