Axe 2 / Axis 2

Axis 2. Memory, Self and Temporality

The objective of this research program is to pursue the study of the cognitive and neural bases of episodic and semantic autobiographical memory (AM) and episodic future thinking  to the interaction with personal and social identity and multifaceted aspects of temporality both using classical and virtual embodied methods. 

- In the continuity of the previous project, we will investigate the cerebral substrate of the interaction between AM and the sense of identity in healthy subjects and psychiatric patients. The interaction between the sense of identity and AM is complex. Indeed, AM is composed of both episodic and semantic memories. The latter, produced by a generalization process, may be at the root of construction of the core identity in healthy subjects. On the other hand, episodic memory is suggested to be essential for the updating of the self-representation and self-consciousness (Conway, 2005; Klein, 2010). In this line of research, we developed a new fMRI activation paradigm based on self-concept judgments (“I am” from my point of view versus “I am” from the point of view of others”) and associated AM recollection. This paradingm is currently proposed to (i) patients suffering from transgender dysphoria (TGD compared to controls) in collaboration with T. Gallarda at Sainte Anne hospital (PHRC TRANSMEM, Post Doc L. Compère) and (ii) participants in the prodromal phase of schizophrenia (Ultra High Risk psychosis (UHR) in comparison with controls and schizophrenic patients) with the collaboration of MO Krebs's team at the CPN (project initiated with a PhD student C. Mam-Lam-Fook, DENIKER, ancillary study of PHRC START, MO Krebs). These projects are in collaboration with the Sainte Anne neuroimaging platform. The main hypothesis is that the neurocognitive signature of AM and self is a marker of TGD and UHR. 

 - The novelty of the subsequent investigations will be related to the study of the episodic foresight of events in the future dimension including possible personal and social selves that refer to beliefs about what the self was and might become (Markus & Nurius, 1986; Sani et al., 2007; D’Argembeau, A., & Van der Linden, M, 2004). Indeed, the role of personal and impersonal semantic representations in future thoughts as well as the respective role of explicit and implicit processes remain dramatically underresearched although future thinking plays a crucial role in adaptive and social behaviors and wellbeing. The main objective of the present proposal will be to go several steps further by investigating the neurocognitive mechanisms of the individual's capacity to travel through time taking into account all episodic and semantic components and links with personal and social identity. Our main hypothesis is that the semantic content (both personal and collective) of the future projection increases with temporal distance and aging that in turn impacts personal and social identity and well-being. We will explore temporal foresight mechanisms from a few seconds to several decades. This approach will allow us to shed light on the interplay between memory, temporality, and personal and social identity. This innovative project has the potential to offer a new taxonomy of future thoughts and new recommendations to improve the anticipation and positive appropriation of their individual and collective future for the elderly. This project will use a transdisciplinary approach thanks to collaboration with neuroscientists (neuropsycchology, MRI; EEG) and social psychologists (ANR TEMPORALITY, 2018-2022, PIs P. Piolino and V La Corte with coll., J. Collange (LaPEA), B. Sanitioso (LPS), J.L. Tavani (Paris 8) and IM2A and ICM, Salpêtrière, Neuroimaging, Sainte Anne, and G. Riva, Italy). 


Figure. Integrative Framework of the Taxonomy of past and future thinking: TEDIFT model (La Corte & Piolino, 2016)  EAM: episodic autobiographical memory, EFT: episodic future thinking.



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