Cognitive and Neural Dynamics of Memory Across the Lifespan (ConMem)

Project of the Center for Lifespan Psychology Concluded in 2019

Former Project Leaders: Myriam Sander & Markus Werkle-Bergner

The overarching objective of this project was to provide mechanistic explanations for developmental changes and interindividual differences in various aspects and functions of memory, with an emphasis on episodic and working memory. The project proceeded on the assumption that lifespan changes in memory functioning can be mapped onto the interacting contributions of two components, one associative and the other strategic. The associative component of memory refers to mechanisms that bind different aspects of an event into a cohesive memory representation and can be linked to medio-temporal areas (especially the hippocampus) as well as posterior association areas. The strategic component refers to attentional and control processes that aid and regulate memory functions and is mainly supported by prefrontal and parietal regions. Interactions among maturational, experience-dependent, and senescent forces shape the relative contributions of associative and strategic processes during memory encoding, consolidation, and retrieval.

Symposium in 2018

This symposium took place in Budapest and brought together leading international experts on the hippocampus and memory across the lifespan and across levels of analysis. The aim was to further the understanding of hippocampal network contributions to cognition across the lifespan. more

Successor Projects

Head: Markus Werkle-Bergner
The overarching objective of this project is to understand how the dynamic interplay of maturation, personal experiences, and senescence drives and affects plastic changes on neural and behavioral levels across the lifespan. more
Head: Myriam C. Sander
Within the framework of a Minerva Research Group, this project tracks the life cycle of memories in both mind and brain to understand how aging affects memory representations and performance. more

Key Publications (2010–2019)

Muehlroth, B. E., Sander, M. C., Fandakova, Y., Grandy, T. H., Rasch, B., Shing, Y. L., & Werkle-Bergner, M. (2019). Precise slow oscillation-spindle coupling promotes memory consolidation in younger and older adults. Scientific Reports, 9, Article 1940.
Keresztes, A., Ngo, C. T., Lindenberger, U., Werkle-Bergner, M., & Newcombe, N. S. (2018). Hippocampal maturation drives memory from generalization to specificity. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 22(8), 676–686.
Karch, J. D., Sander, M. C., von Oertzen, T., Brandmaier, A. M., & Werkle-Bergner, M. (2015). Using within-subject pattern classification to understand lifespan age differences in oscillatory mechanisms of working memory selection and maintenance. NeuroImage, 118, 538–552.
Sander, M. C., Lindenberger, U., & Werkle-Bergner, M. (2012). Lifespan age differences in working memory: A two-component framework. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 36(9), 2007–2033.
Shing, Y. L., Werkle-Bergner, M., Brehmer, Y., Müller, V., Li, S.-C., & Lindenberger, U. (2010). Episodic memory across the lifespan: The contributions of associative and strategic components. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 34(7), 1080–1091.
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