B1: Control of memory formation and memory-based decision-making by brainstem arousal systems
Mounting evidence points to a strong impact of brainstem arousal systems on memory mechanisms (encoding and recall) operating in the cerebral cortex. Unraveling this brainstem-cortical interplay is critical for advancing our understanding of healthy memory and of psychiatric disorders. In this project, we plan to uncover the causal effect of arousal signals from the brainstem on memory formation and memory-based decisions. This will be afforded by an integrated application of pupillometry, behavioral modeling, brainstem fMRI, and magnetoencephalography (MEG) in healthy human participants. We will use novel experimental designs to manipulate the responses of brainstem arousal systems, precisely in time, and quantify the effect on memory processes at a high level of mechanistic detail.
- Project lead: Prof. Dr. Tobias Donner