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Randy is Principal Investigator of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory (CNL) and Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and member of the Center for Brain Science, where he is affiliated with the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at the Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School as well as an Investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His research applies neuroimaging techniques to explore brain areas involved in human memory. He has recently focused on three interrelated questions. The first question surrounds how human prefrontal cortex may participate in the formation and retrieval of memories, and how these structures may interact with medial temporal regions. This work originates from human lesions studies that note damage to prefrontal cortex can cause memory difficulties associated with the strategic aspects of memory formation and retrieval. The second line of inquiry relates to how the human brain codes the remnants (the echo) of a memory while it is being remembered. We all know from our daily experiences that sounds and visual images can be remembered from the past and are often vividly experienced. However, it is largely a mystery how the human brain revives and represents these perceptions. This issue is being explored in its most basic form by testing hypotheses such as whether human visual cortex becomes active when one tries to retrieve a visual (image-based) memory and whether auditory cortex becomes active when a sound from the past is remembered. The final research question targets how activity within the human brain changes when items are repeated. Activity appears to reduce in certain, specific brain regions when items (such as a word) are repeatedly presented to a subject and the subject becomes faster at processing that item. Randy has also recently become interested in how information about the healthy brain can help to guide our understanding of damaged and diseased brain states such as occur after a stroke or during the progression of Dementia of the Alzheimer Type (DAT). A final focus of his work is to develop novel methods for functional neuroimaging -- such as those employed during event-related fMRI.

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Wheeler, M.E., and Buckner, R.L. (2003) Functional dissociation among components of remembering: Control, perceived oldness, and content. Journal of Neuroscience, 23: 3869-3880. [medline abstract]

Shannon, B.J., and Buckner, R.L. (2004) Functional-anatomic correlates of memory retrieval that suggest nontraditional processing roles for multiple distinct regions within posterior parietal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 24: 10084-10092.
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Buckner, R.L. (2004) Memory and executive function in aging and AD: Multiple factors that cause decline and reserve factors that compensate. Neuron, 44: 195-208.
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Buckner, R.L., Snyder, A.Z., Shannon, B.J., LaRossa, G., Sachs, R., Fotenos, A.F., Sheline, Y.I., Klunk, W.E., Mathis, C.A., Morris, J.C., and Mintun, M.A. (2005) Molecular, structural, and functional characterization of Alzheimer’s disease: Evidence for a relationship between default activity, amyloid, and memory. Journal of Neuroscience, 25: 7709-7717.
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Wagner, A.D., Shannon, B.J., Kahn, I., Buckner, R.L. (2005) Parietal lobe contributions to episodic memory retrieval. Trends in Cognitive Science, 9: 445-453.
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Kirchhoff, B.A., and Buckner, R.L. (2006) Functional-anatomic correlates of individual differences in memory. Neuron, 51: 263-74.
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Vincent, J.L., Snyder, A.Z., Fox, M.D., Shannon, B.J., Andrews, J.R., Raichle, M.E., and Buckner R.L. (2006) Coherent spontaneous activity identifies a hippocampal-parietal memory network. Journal of Neurophysiology. 6:3517-31.
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Buckner, R.L. and Carroll, D.C. (2007) Self-projection and the brain. Trends in Cognitive Science, 11: 49-57.
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