ELSC Special Seminar: Dr. Aya Ben-Yakov - Dec. 24th, 2017 at 17:00

December 24, 2017

ELSC cordially invites you to the lecture given by:


Dr. Aya Ben-Yakov 

University of Cambridge, UK


On the topic of:

 Hippocampal sensitivity to event boundaries in the encoding of narrative episodes 


The lecture will be held on Sunday, December 24, at 17:00

at ELSC: Silberman Bldg., 3rd Wing, 6th Floor

Edmond J. Safra Campus


Light refreshments at 16:45


An extensive body of research has established that the hippocampus plays a pivotal role in the encoding of new associations. Yet it remains unclear how entire episodes that unfold over time are bound together in memory. Real-life episodes can be viewed as a sequence of interrelated episodic elements, and their encoding may be incremental, such that each element that is encountered is registered to memory. Conversely, the episode may be stored in a temporary buffer and registered to long-term memory as a cohesive unit when it has come to closure. Using short film clips as memoranda, we find that hippocampal encoding-related activity is time-locked to the offset of the event, potentially reflecting the encoding of a bound representation to long-term memory. Notably, when distinct clips were presented in immediate succession, the hippocampus responded at the offset of each event, suggesting hippocampal activity is triggered the occurrence of event boundaries (transition between events). However, while brief film clips mimic several aspects of real-life, they are still discrete events. To determine whether event boundaries drive hippocampal activity in an ongoing experience, we analysed brain activity of over 200 participants who viewed a naturalistic film and found that the hippocampus responded both reliably and specifically to shifts between scenes. Taken together, these results suggest that during encoding of a continuous experience, event boundaries drive hippocampal processing, potentially supporting the transformation of the continuous stream of information into distinct episodic representations.