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Research projects

The transience and persistence of memory: Linking neurobehavioral mechanisms of adaptive forgetting to adult aging and mood

About this project

Project information

Project status

Started in 2019


Jonas Persson

Research subject

Research environments

In cognitive models of memory, forgetting is most often treated as a failure to encode, maintain, or retrieve information. However, remembering a past experience can, quite surprisingly cause forgetting, and forgetting may be imperative to efficient remembering. An inability to remove outdated and irrelevant information from memory may also cause memory failures in older age, and could contribute to mood disorders that involve rumination and anxiety.

The purpose of the present project is to elucidate the neurobehavioral mechanisms of adaptive forgetting and examine how such processes relate to memory deficits in adult aging and mood. In part 1 of this research program we will use novel behavioral paradigms in conjunction with functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate age-differences and neural mechanisms underlying adaptive forgetting in memory (years 1-3). In part 2, we aim to validate the link between individual differences in controlling ones thoughts, memories and emotions, to neurobehavioral indicators of adaptive forgetting (year 4). The project will be managed by a principal investigator, who will also supervise the project, together with the co-applicant. Data collection and analyses will be performed by a research assistant and a post-doc.

The current research project has implications for understanding neurobehavioral mechanisms of forgetting, and may have implications for theories of memory deficits in aging and dysfunctional regulation of mood. 

Research funding bodies

  • Karolinska Institutet