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Brain mechanisms of human episodic memory

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  • Full or part time
    Dr B Staresina
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

How are brief experiences transformed into lasting memories? Applications are welcome from students fascinated by human memory and keen on identifying the brain mechanisms supporting the storage and recall of memories. Focusing on the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and its interaction with the rest of the brain, the research project will involve multiple cutting-edge acquisition and analysis tools to investigate the ‘mnemonic fate’ of our experiences during learning and during subsequent rest periods. The lab uses 3T and 7T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), intracranial EEG, scalp EEG, electrical brain stimulation (tACS) and overnight sleep recordings. Analytical approaches include functional and effective connectivity, multivariate statistics and the investigation of brain oscillations.

Applicants should have a research-oriented background in cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychology, or computer science and should have basic programming skills (e.g., MATLAB). Experience with neuroimaging and data analysis is desirable.

The lab is based in the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham. We are one of the largest and most active psychology departments in the UK and have an excellent reputation for teaching and research with around 800 students studying in a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes. Further information can be found at


For informal enquiries about the project please contact Dr. Bernhard Staresina ([email protected]). Formal applications must be made via the postgraduate admissions system in the School of Psychology


Funding Notes

Competitive funding is occasionally available for excellent students. Applications for self-funded PhD projects are always welcome. If you are interested, please directly contact [email protected]


Staresina, B.P., Fell, J., Do Lam, A.T., Axmacher, N. & Henson, R.N. (2012) Memory signals are temporally dissociated in and across human hippocampus and perirhinal cortex. Nature neuroscience, 15, 1167-1173.

Staresina, B.P., Alink, A., Kriegeskorte, N. & Henson, R.N. (2013) Awake reactivation predicts memory in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110, 21159-21164.

Staresina, B.P., Fell, J., Dunn, J.C., Axmacher, N. & Henson, R.N. (2013) Using state-trace analysis to dissociate the functions of the human hippocampus and perirhinal cortex in recognition memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110, 3119-3124.

Staresina, B.P. & Davachi, L. (2009) Mind the gap: binding experiences across space and time in the human hippocampus. Neuron, 63, 267-276.

Staresina, B.P., Henson, R.N., Kriegeskorte, N. & Alink, A. (2012) Episodic reinstatement in the medial temporal lobe. The Journal of neuroscience 32, 18150-18156.

Staresina, B.P., Cooper, E. & Henson, R.N. (2013) Reversible information flow across the medial temporal lobe: the hippocampus links cortical modules during memory retrieval. The Journal of neuroscience 33, 14184-14192.

Staresina, B.P., Duncan, K.D. & Davachi, L. (2011) Perirhinal and parahippocampal cortices differentially contribute to later recollection of object- and scene-related event details. The Journal of neuroscience 31, 8739-8747.

Staresina, B.P. & Davachi, L. (2006) Differential encoding mechanisms for subsequent associative recognition and free recall. The Journal of neuroscience 26, 9162-9172.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 40.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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