memory, hippocampus, relational memory networks, associative inference, concept learning, generalization
Dr. Dagmar (Dasa) Zeithamova is an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oregon, visiting MPI as a Humboldt scholar. Her research focuses on how humans build complex knowledge representations—such as schemas, cognitive maps or concepts—from simple learning experiences. Stacking memories as building blocks, humans and other animals can form knowledge that transcends direct experience, flexibly using the memory for the past to guide behavior in the future. Dr. Zeithamova's work has shown how the hippocampus—a brain structure critical for memory for individual events in our lives—interacts with the prefrontal cortex and other memory systems to support the flexible use of experience. Her primary research tools include computer-based experiments, formal models of behavior, and advanced functional MRI methods.