Representing memory

Project summary

The project aims to explore how memory is represented in a variety of situations. Since the cognitive revolution of the 1960s memory has been considered as the encoding, storage and retrieval of information. Traditional ideas have considered memory in individuals to be stored as a representation of a set of features within the brain. However, recent ideas have moved our understanding to include elements of extended cognition. For example, embodied cognition suggests that the representation of a memory includes actions and bodily movements (such as leaning backwards when remembering something from the past). The project aims to explore how these ideas of extended cognition can seek to explain memory at an individual level. This will include understanding the representation of information at a cellular level through to collaborative memory when memory can be shared between individuals. As well as considering how we might best explain memory representations within an individual we will then consider whether these same mechanisms can be used to understand the storage of information within a society and the transfer of information between individuals and across generations. Finally, the insights gleaned from this interdisciplinary project will be used to better understand memory within English Studies.

Term: Michaelmas 2020


Project fellows

Principal Investigator: Dr Alexander Easton (Psychology)
Principal Investigator: Professor Simon James (English Studies)
Co-Investigator: Dr Jeremy Kendal (Anthropology)