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The subjective experience of remembering (Discourse)

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The Royal Institution of Great Britain

21 Albemarle Street

London

W1S 4BS

United Kingdom

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The ability to remember personally experienced events in vivid, multisensory detail makes an immensely important contribution to our lives, allowing us to re-live each moment of a previous encounter and providing us with the store of precious memories that form the building blocks of who we are. Such remembering involves reactivating sensory and perceptual features of an event, and the thoughts and feelings we had when the event occurred, integrating them into a conscious first-person experience. It allows us to make judgments about the things we remember, such as distinguishing events that actually occurred from those we might have imagined or been told about.

Although a great deal is known about the cognitive and neural processes that enable us to recall a word list, for example, considerably less is known about the processes underlying the subjective experience of remembering. Drawing on inspiration from philosophers and novelists, Jon Simons will consider the latest evidence from functional neuroimaging and studies of patients with neurological and psychiatric conditions, which is beginning to shed light on the brain mechanisms responsible for the subjective experience of remembering.

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Discourses are one of the Ri’s oldest and most prestigious series of talks. Since 1825, audiences in the theatre have witnessed countless mind-expanding moments, including the first public liquefaction of air by James Dewar, the announcement of the electron by J.J. Thomson and over 100 lectures by Michael Faraday. In more recent times, we have had Nobel laureates, Fields medal winners, scientists, authors and artists – all from the cutting-edge of their field. Discourses are an opportunity for the best and brightest to share their work with the world.

Steeped in nearly two centuries of tradition, a Discourse is more than just a lecture. To keep the focus on the topic, presenters begin sharply at 7:30pm without introduction and we lock the speaker into a room ten minutes ahead of the start (legend has it that a speaker once tried to escape!) We also ask guests to dress smartly to add to the sense of occasion.

Discourses are free for members - consider joining today.

Find out more about the history of the Friday Evening Discourses on our blog.

The dress code for this event is smart (ties optional, no jeans or trainers). Please note, if you are not dressed smartly you may be asked to sit in the gallery.

The doors will open at approximately 6.45pm, with a prompt start at 7.30pm. There will be a brief question/answer period after the talk.

Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

Event image by Kevin Dooley via Flickr

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Date and Time

Location

The Royal Institution of Great Britain

21 Albemarle Street

London

W1S 4BS

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

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