Episodic memory is the memory of autobiographical events (times, places, associated emotions, and other kinds of contextual knowledge) that can be explicitly stated. To decipher episodic memories, three aspects ought to be tackled: introspection of recollection (meta-memory), coding and abstraction of temporal information in memory, and emphasis on the (re)constructive nature of memories. This laboratory pursues these three lines of research.
Theme 1: Metacognition
What is the evolutionary significance of metacognition? How do confidence, metacognition, and ultimately (conscious) self-introspection help with various kind of memories? Are they conserved across the primates?
Theme 2: How does the brain code and situate past events by their order in relation to time?
The encoding of time and its binding to events are crucial for episodic memory, and while we know that the posterior parietal cortex mediates new episodic memory formation, how are these processes carried out at the neural level in this parietal hub (the precuneus)?
Theme 3: Malleability of episodic memory
Memory recall is constructive in nature and the mere act of recalling a memory renders it labile and highly susceptible to modification. Therefore, if we can capture the dynamic, reconstructive nature of memories we can get closer to understanding how we recollect “declarative” memories consciously.