We are able to store and retrieve different types of information from our memory. It is known that our memory system is not holistic but divided into several subsystems which support these different types of information. For example, episodic memory stores specific events such as where you parked your car this morning, whereas semantic memory contains knowledge about objects and concepts such as the colour of your car. However, relatively little is known about how semantic knowledge influences episodic memory. This is the central question of my research. I examine this question by using Event Related Potentials (ERP) which allows me to study changes in neuronal processes associated with episodic memory. I’m also developing a neuronal network model in order to simulate the process by which semantic memory might influence episodic retrieval. Collaboration and potential impacts on science, health or industry: I am collaborating with the Psychological Imaging Lab in Stirling University. My research has potential impact on our society and health. In order to give eye-witness testimonies people rely on their episodic memory systems. An understanding of how specific facts and semantic knowledge might influence or bias their episodic memory is therefore of great interest. A health benefit of my research might be gained for elderly people. It is known that episodic memory declines significantly with age whereas semantic memory stays relatively intact. Knowing the specific mechanism by which semantic memory interacts with episodic memory could signify ways to improve episodic remembering in elderly people.
Related Publications and Presentations
- Andrea Greve, Mark C W Van Rossum, and David I. Donaldson, “Investigating the functional interaction between semantic and episodic memory: Convergent behavioural and electrophysiological evidence for the role of familiarity”, NeuroImage, 2007, 34, 801-814.
- Andrea Greve, “How knowledge about the world can facilitate memories of events”, Department of Psychology, Stirling University, 2007.
- Andrea Greve, “Does meaning change your memory?”, Neuroscience of Learning and Memory group, Cardiff University, 2004.