Forgetting is a fundamental part of life. Although we often view forgetting as a failure of memory, it may serve an important function in terms of ensuring our memories are useful and relevant. Importantly, forgetting is not uniform in nature, and may depend on what information is being retained. This project aims to reveal both why and how forgetting occurs in the human brain.
Our research combines experimental psychology, computational modelling, and brain imaging (fMRI and MEG) to reveal how forgetting differs across brain regions. In particular, we are interested in the forgetting of complex episodic events – for example, forgetting of a salient personal event in your life. Which aspects of this event do we retain over time and why, and how does this shape our behaviour in the present?
Dr Horner's research interests are broadly related to how the brain remembers information over long periods of time. He uses experimental psychology, virtual reality, brain imaging and computational modelling to understand the neural mechanisms that support long-term memory.