The many faces of memorygen,

In her inaugural address Katinka Dijkstra, Professor of Psychology at Erasmus University Rotterdam, describes her journey through research into the many faces of memory. This journey goes from retrieving autobiographical memories that determine who we are, via building resilience against misinformation and fake news to a Future Work Skills training that aims to improve the performance of 55+ employees on attention and memory tasks. She holds her speech 'The many faces of memory' on 17 September 2021 at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and can be watched online.

In her speech, Prof. Dr. Katinka Dijkstra shows the different faces of memory and discusses the social relevance of the three faces of memory. The first face focuses on the past when it retrieves autobiographical memories, such as the memory of the birth of your first child. These memories determine who we are and how we live our lives. Another face is directed towards the present, where we have to deal with distortions of information that enter our memory trace; the distorted face. Misinformation about a public event in news reports or a different account of a robbery can lead to a different memory of the event than what actually happened. The third face focuses on the future and the optimisation of memory function in the context of ageing.

Social relevance of memory

The different faces of memory are socially relevant and result in various lines of research in her chair 'Autobiographical Memory and Aging'. Dijkstra, on her research: "Our autobiographical memories fulfill several functions, for the person himself, in a social context but also in the form of a transfer of relevant knowledge to other generations and within a culture. The spread of misinformation and fake news makes research into the incorporation of misinformation in our memory and how we can arm ourselves against this relevant. Thirdly, I would like to mention that due to the shift in the retirement age, more attention needs to be paid to the optimisation of attention and memory functions in 55+ employees. To this end, I have developed the Future Work Skills training which aims to improve the performance of 55+ employees on attention and memory tasks by practising specific skills in a work-relevant context in an online training programme.

About Katinka Dijkstra

Prof. Dr. Katinka Dijkstra was, until 2007, associate professor and fellow at the Department of Psychology and the Pepper Institute on Aging and Social Policy at Florida State University in the United States of America. From 2007 to the present, she is affiliated with the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB). Since 2020 she is Professor of Psychology in the chair 'Autobiographical Memory and Aging' in the section Brain & Cognition of the Department of Psychology, Education and Child Studies (DPECS). She was chair of the ESSB Examination Committee, programme leader Bachelor of Psychology and has held the role of Director DPECS since 2019. She conducts research on access to autobiographical memories, on misinformation in news reports and cognitive enhancement in the context of ageing. These lines of research come together in her chair.

The inaugural lecture live stream starts at 15.55 h.

More information

Marjolein Kooistra, mediarelaties ESSB,, 06 83676038

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