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Professor Martin Conway contributes to BBC show exploring memory

City's Head of Psychology helps actress Maureen Lipman explore the secrets of memory.

by Ben sawtell

nullFor the last fifteen years of his life Maureen Lipman's father suffered from Anterograde amnesia, a condition which meant he was unable to create new memories. Her experience in caring for this once bright and energetic man inspired her to explore how memory works and the if there are any ways of preventing the onset of conditions such as Alzheimer's.

To aid her search she met with some of the country's leading experts in memory including the head of City University London's Department of Psychology, Professor Martin Conway. Her journey of discovery was captured in 'If memory serves me right' which was screened on BBC One last night.

Professor Conway joins Maureen and a group of her former grammar school classmates who were ask to recall memories form their lives, describe them and date how old they were when the remembered events happened (see picture, above). 

Many of their memories were found to date to the period when they were 15 to 25 years of age, a phenomenon known as the 'reminiscence bump'. Memories from this time are important in defining the self and endure in a highly accessible form. Conway and Lipman consider what this means for identity and the self and also how the brain works to store these memories so effectively.

Find out more about Professor Conway's research.

Watch the show on BBC's iPlayer (UK only)

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.