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Sydney Ideas - ‘The time-travelling brain’: how we remember the past and im...
Tue. 16 May 2017, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm AEST
Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia 2017 Paul Bourke Lecture
Co-presented with the School of Psychology in the Faculty of Science, and the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney
Humans possess the extraordinary capacity to mentally travel back and forth in subjective time. This allows us to relive personally defining events from our past in exquisite detail, and to mentally project ourselves forwards in time to envisage the future. The relative ease with which we engage in these feats of mental time travel belies their inherent complexity.
Neurodegenerative disorders offer a compelling view of human memory, allowing us to glimpse how distinct neural networks break down in a systematic and coordinated fashion.
In this talk, Professor Irish will present an overview of her work exploring autobiographical memory and future thinking across various dementia syndromes. She will highlight the cognitive mechanisms and neural networks that need to be functional to support these sophisticated cognitive processes and the devastating effects of losing these uniquely human functions.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Associate Professor Muireann Irish is an ARC Future Fellow at the School of Psychology and the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney. Muireann has a longstanding interest in the brain networks that support uniquely human functions such as remembering the past and imagining the future. Her research program aims to delineate how these processes break down in dementia to inform our understanding of the cognitive architecture of memory. More about the speaker.