Mariam Aly

Mariam Aly

Ph.D., University of California, Davis 2013

General Area of Research

Interactions between attention, perception, and memory in the brain and in behavior

Current Research

How are percepts transformed to memories, and how do we use memory to guide perception and action? I study the mechanisms by which attention and perception allow us to remember the world around us, and how — once we have formed those memories — we can use them to guide our attention, perception, and goal-directed behavior in the future.


To address these questions, I rely on multiple methods that together give us a holistic understanding of behavior and the brain. These methods include behavioral studies of healthy young individuals, behavioral studies of healthy older adults, studies of patients with brain lesions (e.g., as a result of epilepsy, stroke, hypoxia, tumors), and high-resolution functional neuroimaging (fMRI) with advanced multi-voxel pattern analysis and functional connectivity techniques.


These methods have allowed me to answer questions such as: what is the role of "memory systems", like the hippocampus, in perception? How does attention modulate the hippocampus, and how does that affect what we remember later on? How does the brain learn and remember temporal structure in the world, and how does it use that structure to generate predictions about the future? Together, my research helps elucidate the multifaceted and inherently interactive nature of cognition, bringing us closer to understanding the whole of the mind and brain as well as its parts. 

Selected Publications

Attention promotes episodic encoding by stabilizing hippocampal representations.

Aly M
Turke-Browne NB
Behavioral task. Two sample trials are depicted.

Attention stabilizes representations in the human hippocampus

Aly M
Turk-Browne NB

Detecting changes in scenes: The hippocampus is critical for strength- based perception.

Aly, M
Ranganath C
Yonelinas AP

Bridging consciousness and cognition in memory and perception: Evidence for both state and strength processes

Aly M
Yonelinas AP

The hippocampus is particularly important for building associations across stimulus domains

Borders AA
Aly M
Parks CM
Yonelinas AP

Flexible weighting of diverse inputs makes hippocampal function malleable

Mariam Aly
Nicholas B. Turk-Browne

Learning Naturalistic Temporal Structure in the Posterior Medial Network

Mariam Aly
Janice Chen
Nicholas B. Turk-Browne
Uri Hasson

The Key to a Happy Lab Life is in the Manual

Mariam Aly

New Perspectives on the Hippocampus and Memory

Mariam Aly
Charan Ranganath

Cortical and Subcortical Contributions to State and Strength-Based Perceptual Judgments

Mariam Aly
Murielle Wansard
Fermin Segovia
Andrew P. Yonelinas
Christine Bastin

Neurocomputational Account of Memory and Perception: Thresholded and Graded Signals in the Hippocampus

Kane W. Elfman
Mariam Aly
Andrew P. Yonelinas

Neural Correlates of State and Strength Based Perception

Mariam Aly
Charan Ranganath
Andrew P. Yonelinas

Examining the Causes of Memory Strength Variability: Recollection, Attention Failure, Or Encoding Variability?

Joshua D. Koen
Mariam Aly
Wei-Chun Wang
Anthony P. Yonelinas

Damage to the Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Impairs Familiarity But Not Recollection

Mariam Aly
Andrew P. Yonelinas
Mark M. Kishiyama
Robert T. Knight

Recollection and Familiarity: Examining Controversial Assumptions and New Directions

Mariam Aly
Andrew P. Yonelinas
Wei-Chun Wang
Joshua D. Koen

Faces Are Special But Not Too Special: Spread Face Recognition in Amnesia is Based on Familiarity

The Effects of Sleep on Episodic Memory in Older and Younger Adults

Mariam Aly
Morris Moscovitch