The Philosophy of Memory Reconsolidation: Setting the Stage
Fabcrício Dutra (Federal University of Santa Maria)

April 21, 2020, 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ruhr-Universität Bochum



Ruhr-Universität Bochum

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Abstract: Recent neurobiological findings lead to an important conclusion for the philosophy of memory: neuronal ensembles that support memories (which may roughly correspond to memory traces or engrams in philosophical discussion) do not remain the same over time. This conclusion reinforces the idea that memory is dynamic by nature. One mechanism which is closely related to the modification of memories and consequently to the dynamic nature of neuronal ensembles is memory reconsolidation, a process that involves the destabilization of already consolidated neural circuits and posterior restabilization. Memory reconsolidation is well studied in neurosciences, but almost unexplored in philosophy. Thus, this work aims to present an overview of the mechanisms of memory reconsolidation and explore some related philosophical implications. Three main topics about the memory reconsolidation process will be discussed. First, recent findings in neurobiology and cognitive neurosciences of memory reconsolidation process will be presented, and the relationship between reconsolidation and philosophical memory traces or engrams will be analyzed. Second, it will be discussed the conditions for memory reconsolidation occurrence, and it will be analyzed if reconsolidation is a neurobiological process independent from others, like memory consolidation or extinction. Finally, the relationship between memory reconsolidation and some theories of remembering, mainly causal and simulation theories, will be explored, and some future perspectives on the topic will be discussed.

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April 21, 2020, 12:00pm CET

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