Annual Anne Treisman lecture: tracking memory traces in the human brain

The human brain is capable of recalling rich and multi-dimensional autobiographical memories over timescales that can stretch back years, decades and even a lifetime.  In this talk I will ask the following questions:   How long does systems level consolidation of autobiographical memories take? What brain areas are involved? What does this tell us about the process of systems level consolidation and the functions of relevant brain regions? Using neuropsychology, high resolution fMRI, multivariate methods and longitudinal studies, I will attempt to provide answers, with some surprising results, particularly regarding the hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.