The Mystery of Orangutans' Missing Memories

Tue 10/31/2023 • 1PM - 2:30PM PDT

Charles E. Young Research Library Main Conference Room and Zoom

Robert Hampton, PhD; Professor of Psychology, Emory University
Memory is not one thing. It comes in many types, or systems. Working memory is a limited capacity system that requires active maintenance to hold information “in mind.” When we actively try to remember a new acquaintance’s name or the address of the restaurant we are driving toward, we are often using working memory. By contrast, a sense of familiarity allows us to realize, for example, that we have experienced a scene or face before, but we do not need to actively “hold in mind” information to have the experience of familiarity. Familiarity signals in memory are largely automatic.

Robert Hampton and his team have conducted a series of experiments in monkeys showing that these two systems are strikingly independent of one another, or are ”dissociable.” He will describe some of these experiments, as well as parallel experiments done with orangutans at Zoo Atlanta. These experiments will introduce you to the mystery of the orangutans’ missing memories.

This presentation will be conducted in person and via Zoom. RSVP is requested.

Light refreshments will be served.

#Educational #Academic

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