Adviser: Brad Mahon
Implicit and Episodic Verbal Memory in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Medial temporal lobe epilepsy, or MTLE, often involves damage to the hippocampus, a region that is crucial for the consolidation of episodic memories. Damage to the hippocampus is also associated with verbal memory deficits; however, the precise role of the hippocampus in verbal processing and memory is still a subject of debate. In this project, I will investigate both implicit and episodic verbal memory in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy using a novel behavioral task. This task will involve two phases. The first phase will test patients’ implicit verbal memory via reaction-time analysis of object naming, and the second will test patients’ episodic verbal memory via recall of the context in which a word was spoken. This research will present two contributions to neurosurgery and neuropsychology. The first will be data that may help understand and predict surgical outcomes for TLE patients. The second will be insight into the role of the hippocampus in language processing. This project will also allow for the collection of EEG data which can be used in the future to further clarify the role of the hippocampus in language and verbal memory.
Eliza Reedy is a Psychology major with a concentration in Clinical Psychology. She has a lifelong interest in the brain and human behavior, which she has been able to pursue at Carnegie Mellon through the field of neuropsychology. She plans to pursue a PhD and career in clinical neuropsychology after graduation from CMU. Eliza is from St. Paul, Minnesota, and enjoys rock climbing, running, and cross-country skiing outside of her psychology pursuits, as well as reading and making art.