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Memory & the Brain - PSY00045H

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Aidan Horner
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

Our memories make us who we are. They allow us to delve into our past and project ourselves into the future. They are also hugely shaped by our emotions, mood, and mental health. How does the brain support something so complex, subjective and personal and why do these processes sometimes go wrong? This module will explore the cognitive neuroscience of long-term memory, with a specific focus on episodic and spatial memory. We will explore this topic from a wide variety of methodologies – from traditional experimental psychology, to neuropsychology, to brain imaging, to electrophysiological recordings. We will discuss how we remember and how we forget, and how these processes can be affected by emotion and mental health.

Module learning outcomes

  • Discuss the complexities involved in the study of long-term memory
  • Discuss memory research at multiple scales, from individual neurons to cortical networks
  • Describe research related to episodic and spatial memory
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the neural circuitry of the medial temporal lobe, including the hippocampus
  • Describe the main theoretical accounts of hippocampal function and dysfunction

Module content

  • Memory systems and declarative memory
  • Episodic and semantic memory
  • Recollection and familiarity
  • Medial Temporal Lobe architecture
  • Pattern separation and pattern completion
  • Functional neurons in the medial temporal lobes
  • Process and representational accounts of the medial temporal lobes
  • Remembering and Forgetting
  • Memory and Emotion


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Memory & the Brain
5 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Memory & the Brain
5 hours 100

Module feedback

The marks on all assessed work will be provided on e-vision.

Indicative reading

The following review papers will give an reasonable overview of some of the topics and issues covered in the module:

  • Horner, A.J., & Doeller, C.F. (2017) Plasticity of hippocampal memories in humans, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 43, 102-109.
  • Burgess, N., Maguire, E. A, & O’Keefe, J. (2002). The human hippocampus and spatial and episodic memory. Neuron, 35(4), 625–641.
  • Yonelinas, A.P., & Ritchey, M. (2015). The slow forgetting of emotional episodic memories: An emotional binding account. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19(5), 259-267.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.