Bochum-Grenoble Memory Colloquium

Marta Caravà (Università di Bologna)

Untangling forgetting: An enactive proposal.

03.12.2020, 10:00-11:30 CET (UTC+01:00).

Online Lecture via zoom.

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Abstract: Remembering and forgetting are the two poles of human memory. Consequently, any approach to memory should be able to explain both. Can an enactive approach to memory processes do so? In the talk, I will outline a possible way to give a positive answer to this question. In line with some current enactive approaches to memory, I will suggest that forgetting –similarly to remembering– might be underpinned by an embodied and active process. Within this process, some simulation and re-enactment paths would acquire more relevance than others. This acquired relevance would make the activation of other paths of recall less likely, thus preventing the memory system from engaging in some past-oriented episodic simulations. These changes in the likelihood of activation of some paths of recall –the forgotten ones– can be explained in an enactive fashion by studying both “internal” and “external” re-enactment and simulation paths. With regard to the latter, I will propose to investigate forgetting by considering the engagement and affective relation of an embodied agent with her field of affordances. I will suggest that, in particular in the case of emotion-laden memories, the agent’s decoupling from some affordances of the environment might contribute to the process of forgetting, in that it would constrain the agent’s opportunities for situated past-oriented episodic simulations.