News Postgraduate Traces

Sleep and Dreams: a Postgraduate Memory Network Seminar

On Thursday the 20th March from 3-5pm the Postgraduate Memory Network will be holding its first seminar of 2014 at the University of Roehampton on the subject of ‘Sleep and Dreams’, featuring three talks from its members:

Adele James (Psychology PhD student, Roehampton):

Dreams and memory

What role does dreaming play in memory? Adele will discuss how dreaming might play a vital part in consolidating memory during sleep from a neuropsychological perspective.

Joelle English (English lit. MA student, Royal Holloway):

Sleep in Medieval Romance

When we think of romance it is easy to think of brave knights fighting monsters and rescuing maidens, so why do they keep falling asleep? Those familiar with popular fairy tales such as ‘Sleeping Beauty’ would imagine a maiden in an enchanted sleep awoken by her knight in shining armour. In medieval romance however, it is the other way round. I will explore how sleep progresses narrative action through passivity and the implications this has on chivalric ideals as well as gender roles and their exchange in Chrétien de Troyes’ Romances and The Lays of Marie de France.

Michael Jenkins (MSc Psychology, York):

Using sleep to study memories in neuroscience

This talk will begin with an introduction on how sleep and memory is closely linked, and particularly how sleep can be used to improve memory performance. The mechanics of sleep, as well as the neuroimaging technique known as polysomnography (PSG), will be explained. The talk will then go on to present a recent MSc project conducted by two of the PGMN’s executive committee members, which looked at whether sleep is specially linked with the consolidation of emotional memories.

The event will take place in the Convent Parlour of Digby Stuart College. For more information, please visit the PGMN’s websites:

Media The Future of Memory Traces

Memory in the Future Tense

Professor Mark Currie (Queen Mary) presents his paper, ‘Memory in the Future Tense’ at the Future of Memory Symposium on the 30th October 2011.

Narrative is often thought of as one method by which we recapitulate past experience, and we think of its default tense structures as retrospective. This paper advances a claim that narrative temporality operates according to a tense structure more closely related to the future perfect, the tense that refers to something that lies ahead and yet which is already complete. There is a hint of the impossible in the future perfect. It seems to ascribe to the future the one property that it cannot possess. The modelling of time in narrative, it is argued, is centred on this impossibility, of a future that has already taken place, and the temporality that it generates tells us something about how we use stories to reconcile that we expect with what we experience.