Over the course of the semester, our trainees are reviewing webinars in their given fields and preparing abstracts to help colleagues outside their discipline make an informed choice about watching them. As our program bridges diverse disciplines, these abstracts are beneficial for our own group in helping one another gain key knowledge in each other’s fields. We are happy to share these here for anyone else who may find them helpful.
Forgetting to Remember, Remembering to Forget: A Neuropsychiatrist Thinks about Memory
Sheldon Benjamin, U Mass Medical School
February 2, 2022
Hosting Organization: Carle Behavioral Health Grand Rounds
(Webinar not currently available)
In this talk, Dr. Benjamin talked about how memory works and why it is important to us. He gave several examples from famous literature throughout his talk to demonstrate how people experience memory and the situations when it is important. He also reviewed psychological research in the field of memory which has shown how memory works and how the brain accomplishes it—importantly, that declarative memory is encoded by the hippocampus and stored long-term in the cortex, while the striatum is responsible for procedural long-term memory. He explained research that has demonstrated that memory is plastic, can be improved using techniques such as mnemonic devices and “memory palaces,” and can be impaired as a result of damage to certain pathways in the brain. He also explained how case studies of severe anterograde amnesia including those of Patient HM and Clive Wearing have been imperative in developing our understanding of how memory works. Finally, he talked about how our current understanding of memory may help in developing therapies for people with memory deficits.