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A micro-phenomenological investigation into memory and confabulation

Talk by the "Micro-phenomenological Task force"

2018.06.18 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Date Tue 04 Sep
Time 11:00 13:00
Location IMC Meeting Room, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Building 1483-312

Are you interested in matters of memory, confabulation or the experimental use of first person reports? Then join this Tuesday’s lecture where we will give a progress report on our current micro-phenomenology project on the process of remembering:

We will give a work-in-progress presentation on an investigation that uses the micro-phenomenological interview technique to describe the process of veridical and confabulatory remembering. This multidisciplinary research project employs the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm in order to engage with recent philosophical analysis on the natur of confabulation using an experiential approach. In the DRM paradigm,  participants are presented with a list of words and asked to remember them. They are then presented with a recognition test comprised of some words from the list, and new words not previously encountered. The crucial items of interest on the recognition test are the ‘critical lures’: new words that are close semantic associates of those on the word lists. Participants commonly report remembering the critical lures, and may even go on to describe how they remember them, even though they were never actually experienced.  To date, however, the experiential process of bringing to mind a veridical memory has not been compared to that of bringing to mind a confabulated memory within this paradigm. This could hold valuable insights for empirically-informed philosophical analysis and the experimental and clinical psychology literatures on confabulation. Micro-phenomenology is a phenomenologically-inspired interview technique that allows for the fine-grained description of the unfolding structures of experience. This presentation will introduce the micro-phenomenological interview technique with a practical demonstration, before outlining the study rationale, experimental design and preliminary results. We hope to invite a discussion around methodological and conceptual considerations when integrating first-person reports with empirical investigations, and would welcome a broader cross-disciplinary conversation about the project.    


Katrin Heimann, Assistant Professor, IMC