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Methods Used to Understand Human Memory


Narrator: This is Science Today. When it comes to understanding the neuroscience of human memory, researchers predominantly use two non-invasive methods: EEG and FMRI. Dr. Michael Rugg, director of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California, Irvine, explains that an EEG involves putting electrodes on the side of a patient's head to record the brain's electrical activity. FMRI stands for functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Rugg: Which allows us to localize changes in the brain, which are associated with different kinds of mental function so that we can identify which regions of the brain appear to be most active during different kinds of mental tasks. These two methods are complimentary because with the EEG method, we get information about the time course of brain activity as someone, for example, remembers an event that they recently learned about and with FMRI, we get information about where in the rain this neuroactivity is occurring.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.