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Department of Psychology

Staff

Professor Madeline Eacott

Professor in the Department of Psychology

(email at m.j.eacott@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

I am interested in the mechanisms of long-term memory. The modern view sees memory not as a single entity but as a series of interconnected memory systems, each of which has different characteristics and different underlying neural substrates. My work attempts to delineate and understand these different memory processes.

One aspect of my work examines the subdivisions of memory using animals. For example, I have compared the effects of lesions to different parts of the temporal lobes (fornix, perirhinal and postrhinal cortex) in rats in order to elucidate their respective roles in memory. We have found that memory for different aspects of a scene (e.g. what objects were present, where, or in which environment) are all dissociable in memory. This work has resulted in a novel model of episodic-like memory, which allows study of the neural basis of "everyday memory" for events in the rat. My interest in the mechanisms of memory also extends to human memory and our research has recently been extending this work to both adult memory and memory in pre-verbal children. I have also been involved in investigating memory for one's life, from childhood to old age. In particular I am interested in the phenomenon of childhood amnesia and why one cannot remember one's earliest years. The long term goal of all my research is to understand better the memory system in the human and what may go wrong with normal memory in the amnesic patient.

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2012: Appointed Associate Editor for the journal Memory :
  • 2012: Invited speaker at workshop entitled 'Functional architecture of memory', Bochum, Germany.:
  • 2011: Elected Fellow of the British Psychological Society:
  • 2011: Symposium organiser and speaker at International Conference on Memory (ICOM-5), York, UK.:
  • 2011: Workshop organiser and speaker, 'Cortical and subcortical functions in complex behaviour: A symposium in honour of David Gaffan'. Oxford University, UK:
  • 2010: Invited speaker at workshop entitled 'Recognition memory: from proteins to patients', University of Bristol, UK. Fully funded by Wellcome Trust and European Brain and Behaviour Society (EBBS).:
  • 2009: Invited speaker at workshop entitled 'The Medial Temporal Lobes', University of Manchester, UK :
  • 2007: Invited speaker at European Brain and Behaviour Society (EBBS): Trieste, Italy, Sept 2007.
  • 2007: Invited speaker at Experimental Psychology Society (EPS), Cardiff, UK:
  • 2006: Invited speaker at the International Conference on Memory (ICOM-4): Sydney, Australia, July 2006
  • 2003: Member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Neuroscience & Biobehavioural Reviews:

Research Groups

Research Interests

  • Human long-term memory, particularly autobiographical memory and childhood amnesia
  • The neuropsychology of memory in animals and people

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Memory and brain function: memory: biological basis of memory
  • Memory and brain function: memory: lifespan memory, infantile amnesia, false memories

Supervises