The Predictive Brain: How Past Memories Influence Future Decisions

Dr. Alison Preston, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Section of Neurobiology, The University of Texas

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
5:45 p.m. – Networking Reception
6:30 p.m. – Presentation

Our memories are the essence of who we are. But memories are not merely a record of our past experiences; rather, our memories are intrinsically prospective, serving as a guide to both the present and the future. Our memories establish expectations for current events and help us anticipate the future. In doing so, our memories influence how we learn new things, the decisions we make in the present, and goals to which we aspire in the future. In this talk, Dr. Alison Preston will discuss her work combining brain imaging techniques with advanced computational methods to visualize how the brain builds predictive memories.

Dr. Alison Preston is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Section of Neurobiology at The University of Texas and a member of the UT Center for Learning and Memory. Dr. Preston's research focuses on understanding how memory is implemented in the human brain using functional brain imaging techniques. She has published several articles in peer reviewscientific journals describing her research efforts. She also teachescourses on the growing field of cognitive neuroscience and its impact in the media and society. Dr. Preston is a recipient of Young Investigator Awards from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) and the Department of Defense as well as a recipient of the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award, recognizing her as one of the leading young teacher-scholars in the country.