Instructions for Speakers

~ Talk Formats ~

1) Open Paper Talks will be 10 minutes total (7-8 minutes of speaking with 2-3 minutes for Q&A). We encourage speakers to strive to finish within 8 minutes to ensure at least 2 minutes of Q&A after each talk.

2) Symposia will be 90 minutes total, and the chair may subdivide that time as they please, including time for opening remarks and closing remarks. We nevertheless encourage each symposium to leave at least 10 minutes for open Q&A at the end and to allow time for ~3-5 minutes for Q&A after each speaker’s talk.

~ Uploading Your Presentations ~

1) **IMPORTANT**: please name your presentation file with your last name and “MDRS”. For example: “CLEWETT_MDRS.pptx”

2) Please upload your presentation (Keynote, Powerpoint or PDF) by Wednesday September 20th using this link:

3) We recognize that many people like to perfect their talks up until the last minute. If you would like to update your presentation again before your session, please append the number 2 to the filename. For example, “CLEWETT_MDRS2”. Because all files will accumulate in the same folder, we kindly ask that you do not upload more than two versions of your talk.

~ The Day of Your Presentation ~

1) We will use a single Mac laptop for all presentations.

2) Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your session so that we can test your slides. There are several coffee breaks and a lunch each day, so this would be a good time to swing by and make sure everything is working properly.

Symposia and Talks


(Friday Sept 22, 5-6pm)

Molecular, cellular systems, and brain region mechanisms of temporal memory structures

Alcino Silva, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor
Director, UCLA Integrative Center for Learning and Memory
University of California, Los Angeles


The organizing committee has selected the following five symposia for inclusion in this year’s meeting:

1) Mechanisms and consequences of flexibly generalizing memories (Thursday AM)

Generalizing from past experiences to novel situations is critical for adaptive functioning. However, this process can also go awry; for example, overgeneralizing threat responses to safe contexts is a characteristic of anxiety disorders. In this symposium, we consider factors that modulate this flexible expression of memory across species, ages, and clinical conditions. These include the interplay between memory generalization and specificity across childhood (Ngo), the role of memory generalization in maladaptive choice in substance use (Goldfarb), the process for how prior stable memories flexibly update across time (Cai), and the distinctiveness of memory representations in fear extinction (Dunsmoor). We leverage novel task design and eye-tracking together with measures of brain function such as functional MRI, in vivo calcium imaging, immediate-early gene tagging, and chemogenetics. Together, these diverse perspectives and approaches promise new insights into the adaptive and maladaptive features of this fundamental memory process.

Elizabeth Goldfarb (Yale University) “Perceptual generalization and risky drinking”

Zoe Ngo (Max Planck Institute for Human Development Berlin) “Memory generalization and specificity in early childhood”

Joey Dunsmoor (UT Austin) “Pattern separation of fear extinction memory”

Denise Cai (Mount Sinai) “The tug of war between memory stability and flexibility”

2) Top-down influences on narrative memory (Thursday PM)

In recent years, there has been an explosion of research characterizing memory for continuous, naturalistic events, including studies using television shows, movies, and stories as memoranda. This approach has enabled the study of how processes like event segmentation, narrative construction, and schema formation impact realistic memory formation. However, this prior work leaves open questions about how autobiographical memory functions in real-life situations where people have goals, agency, and personal connections to experienced events. In this symposium, speakers will share emerging research exploring how manipulating narrative encoding conditions shapes memories using behavioral, neuroimaging, and clinical approaches. Christopher Baldassanno will show how priming different event scripts changes narrative perception and memory. Janice Chen will show how memory is modulated by decisions when narratives are created from a participant’s own choices. Vishnu Murty will demonstrate how manipulating individuals’ narrative goals via storytelling alters the structure of episodic memory with downstream consequences on value processing. Finally, Daniela Schiller will present data on how social relationships and personal trauma narratives are encoded and retrieved in clinical populations. Together, these talks will highlight how memory is impacted by top-down influences during narrative encoding and retrieval, expanding our understanding of neural and behavioral processes that help us construct memories of events.

Christopher Baldasanno (Columbia University) “Top-down attention impacts neural dynamics during narratives with overlapping event scripts”

Janice Chen (Johns Hopkins University) “Influences of choice on memory for narratives”

Vishnu Murty (Temple University) “Storytelling modulates episodic memory in service of the transmission of value”

Daniela Schiller (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai) “A neural narrative of social relationships and personal trauma”

3) Sleep in Memory Disorders (Friday AM)

Across a broad range of clinical disorders of memory, sleep dysfunction plays a key role in mediating many aspects of disrupted memory function. Drawing from both animal research and human clinical and cognitive neuroscience studies, these four talks offer an interdisciplinary array of perspectives on the role of sleep in memory disorders, especially those seen in Alzheimer’s disease and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A better understanding of the role of sleep in memory disorders can provide us with insights into the fundamental role of sleep in memory, while also identifying potential sleep-based clinical interventions to address memory dysfunction and other symptoms of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Bryce Mander (UC-Irvine) “Sleep apnea and Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology: Pathways to disordered memory”

Mark Gluck (Rutgers University – Newark) “Interactions between ABCA7 genetic variations and sleep quality predict cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s risk in older African Americans”

Itamar Lerner (UT-San Antonio) “The Paradoxical Effect of REM Sleep on the Consolidation of Stressful Memories and its Implications to PTSD”

Kate Simon (UC Irvine) “Is sleep necessary for spatial memory and navigation across the lifespan: a Minecraft study”

4) The Episodic-Semantic distinction 50 years on (Friday PM)

This symposium will discuss recent behavioral, neuropsychological and neuroimaging data relevant to the distinction between episodic and semantic memory. At the behavioral level, few existing memory tests allow well-matched comparisons between episodic and semantic memory performance. Moreover, most tests of naturalistic human memory require participants to recall episodic memories, and interpretation of retrieved semantic details often poses difficulties. We will discuss newly developed memory measures that circumvent some of these issues, including a new version of the autobiographical interview. We will then turn to data obtained from patients with developmental or adult-onset amnesia. Using experimental designs and test items that provide good sensitivity to subtle impairment, a series of studies demonstrate impoverished remote semantic memory, impaired naming, and disruptions in the relations among words in individuals with damage to the hippocampus acquired in adulthood. These findings challenge the long-standing view that semantic memory becomes independent of the hippocampus over time and that remote semantic memory is intact in amnesia. Thus, the findings suggest that, as proposed for episodic memory, the hippocampus plays a continuing role in maintaining semantic representations over time. This research will be discussed alongside developmental findings suggesting that episodic memory has a protracted course of post-natal development while semantic memory and language learning thrive in early life. Specifically, hippocampal damage sustained in infancy catastrophically disrupts the development of episodic and associative memory in childhood, while leaving semantic learning at age-appropriate levels. Finally, recent neuroimaging evidence suggests that the neural correlates of semantic and episodic memory retrieval demonstrate remarkable overlap. Two possible explanations for this overlap will be discussed. First, that it arises because episodic retrieval necessitates access to semantic information, that is, episodic memory is parasitic on semantic memory. Second, the overlap might occur because episodic and semantic memories depend upon largely the same neural regions and networks and differ primarily in terms of the content of the retrieved mnemonic information. The question of how the phenomenal distinction between autonoetic (episodic) and noetic (semantic) memory can be accommodated within each of these accounts will also be discussed.

Mick Rugg (UT Dallas) “Episodic and semantic memory: not so different after all?”

Louis Renoult (University of East Anglia) “A Component Process View of Declarative Memory”

Melissa Duff (Vanderbilt University) “Hippocampal contributions to semantic representation over time: Evidence from amnesia”

Rachael Elward (London South Bank University) “The Episodic Semantic distinction in developmental amnesia”

5) Neuromodulatory influences of dopamine and noradrenaline on memory and implications for aging and Alzheimer’s disease (Saturday AM)

How dopamine and noradrenaline influence memory and cognition has been challenging to address in human research given the lack of in-vivo measures. Recently developed MRI and PET markers of the structure and activity of neuromodulatory nuclei are helping to bridge this gap. This symposium will focus on the noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems and their impact on memory and cognition, particularly in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Research from MRI contrast measures, PET imaging and animal models will be presented. Researchers have identified changes in dopaminergic neuromodulation as playing a key role in adult memory decline. Facilitated by technical advancements, recent research has also implicated noradrenergic neuromodulation in shaping late-life memory performance. However, it is not yet clear whether these two neuromodulators have distinct roles in age-related cognitive changes. Mara Mather will present on findings that while the structure of the locus coeruleus (LC) was associated with older adults’ episodic memory, substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area (SN-VTA) structure was associated with their working memory performance. Federico Bermudez-Rattoni will show how differential stimulation of the dopamine-VTA or dopamine cortical terminals from the VTA modulates salience perception of taste and object recognition memories. Furthermore, the way dopamine released from the LC in the hippocampus modulates contextual recognition memory updating will be discussed. Finally, he will discuss the implications of dopaminergic activity for Alzheimer’s disease. Emrah Düzel will present on results from an MR-PET dopamine release study with fallipryde in older adults, obtained concurrently with fMRI in an encoding task. Anne Berry will present her research using PET imaging to investigate the roles of norepinephrine and dopamine in episodic and working memory. She will discuss the value of considering individual differences in neuromodulator systems as mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease risk and resilience. Together, these speakers will provide an overview of the importance of neuromodulatory influences on memory and cognition and how the dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems interact while also having unique contributions. Understanding these relationships may lead to the development of new treatments and interventions for cognitive decline in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

Mara Mather (University of Southern California) “Structural MRI contrast measures of dopaminergic and noradrenergic brain regions are associated with different aspects of late life memory performance”

Federico Bermudez-Rattoni (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) “Perceptual salience: How dopaminergic activity modulates recognition memory”

Emrah Düzel (University College London) “Examining the role of dopamine release during encoding using concurrent fMRI and PET”

Anne Berry (Brandeis University) “The influence of brainstem monoamine systems on cognition in aging: resilience and risk”