A new research group headed by Prof. Sen Cheng from the Institute of Neuroinformatics and founded by the German Research Foundation will start in July 2019 at the Ruhr-University Bochum. The research group aims to develop a theory of episodic memory based on scenarios, i.e. mental simulations of past events.
For example, the question of whether a person has turned off the coffee machine at home triggers complex neural processes that include the construction of a scenario of activities that the subject aims to remember.
The research group seeks to answer various fundamental questions using experiments and computer-aided models: What is a scenario? Which aspects of episodic memory can be explained in terms of scenario construction? Which are the central underlying neural mechanisms of such mental simulations? The research group unites scientists from neuroinformatics, psychology, brain research and philosophy.