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Dr. Bradley Buchsbaum

Dr. Bradley Buchsbaum

Senior Scientist, Rotman Research Institute

Research Focus

Cognitive Neuroscience Neuroinformatics Aging & Brain Health Alzheimer's & Related Dementias

Our conscious memories of the past vary in the way they are experienced: some are sharp and vivid, some are fuzzy and vague, while others may be no more than dimly recognizable feelings of a different time in one’s life. My laboratory aims to understand how the varieties of conscious memory experience may be understood at the level of brain networks and activation patterns. We use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to capture and “decode” the patterns of neural activity that give rise to memory experiences. Using statistical techniques and machine learning methods, we are developing ways of “reading out” the content, precision, and quality of a person’s memory from the functional images that we acquire during the act of remembering. We are using these approaches to study how memory changes with age, how individual differences in memory ability are explained by differences in brain activity patterns, and why some memories seem bright and vivid while others are vague and indistinct. With our methods for probing what the brain is doing when we relive the past, we are not only gaining critical insight into the basic neural mechanisms of human memory but offering new and powerful ways of assessing what is going right and what is going wrong in healthy people and in those experiencing a pathological decline in their ability to remember the past.

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