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Episodic memory, our ability to mentally re-live past events and experiences, lies at the core of human cognition and behaviour. It is epitomised by retrieving a full-blown memory upon receiving a simple reminder cue, also known as cued recall. In this talk, I will present a series of experiments aimed at elucidating how cued recall is implemented in the human brain. Using fMRI, scalp EEG and intracranial EEG, I will show how the hippocampus serves as a switchboard between perceptual cues and mnemonic targets and describe the whole-brain dynamics governing the recall process.



Bernhard’s research aims to understand ‘episodic memory,’ which is our remarkable ability to mentally travel back in time and re-live past experiences ( Episodic memory provides us with a coherent sense of who we are and helps us tackle future challenges. But how do fleeting moments become lifelong memories? Why are some experiences better remembered than others? And why can’t we get rid of traumatic events that haunt us? Bernhard uses functional neuroimaging (fMRI), electrophysiology (M/EEG) and brain stimulation to elucidate the intricate mechanisms through which memories are formed, retained and forgotten.

In recent years, Bernhard has focused on the role of sleep for memory formation. Specifically, research has shown that the brain actively processes new experiences while we sleep – a phenomenon called memory consolidation. Bernhard’s group uses a dedicated sleep laboratory to measure brain activity during sleep and unveil how particular activity patterns strengthen our memories overnight. Additionally, Bernhard works with epilepsy patients who have electrodes implanted in their brains. This allows observing how the brain’s ‘memory hub’ (the hippocampus) consolidates memories during sleep. Ultimately, Bernhard will use insights gleaned from healthy participants to combat memory loss in patient populations.



This is a hybrid event.  The seminar will be held at the Seminar Room, New Radcliffe House (2nd Floor) but can also be followed on Zoom.  

You can access the Zoom link via OxTalks at Memory recall in the human brain: evidence from fMRI, scalp EEG and intracranial EEG - Oxford Talks Or, email us at to request the link.