Séminaire de Recherche : Dr Stefania De Vito

Dr Stefania De Vito (Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière, Paris)
'Envisaging the future'

In 1798 the German philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote that, “Remembering occurs only with the intention of making it possible to foresee the future”. This intuition has been recently corroborated by a relevant body of literature on future thinking. The imagination of our future intimately depends on our memory. However, memory does not represent an isolated pillar of such complex ability. In this seminar, I will present my research on different patients’ populations (e.g., Parkinson’s disease and amnesic Mild Cognitive Impairment) and healthy young and old participants. I will discuss my experimental work, investigating the cognitive underpinnings of the intriguing capacity of mentally projecting oneself into the future. In particular, I will shed light on the role of episodic memory, but also of executive functioning and visuo-spatial imagery, contending that future thinking benefits from the orchestrated participation of a network of cognitive skills, which goes beyond mere memory function.