The interplay between memory and temporality: a transdisciplinary study in young and old subjects
Over the past two decades, the study of the processes of episodic memory involved in the recall of events personally lived and located in time and space has been expanded to encompass the processes involved in the future dimension, to imagine specific events which could happen to us. This capacity appears crucial in adaptative and social behaviors and wellbeing. Given the fact that objectively the perspective of future time reduces as time passes and people get older, this issue is particularly important in aging. However, the role of personal and impersonal semantic representations in future thoughts as well as the respective role of explicit and implicit processes remain dramatically misunderstood. Moreover, in a social psychology perspective, processes determining the link between self or collective projection and behaviors are unknown. Additionally, several studies suggested that mechanisms are different in function of the temporal distance into the future (La Corte & Piolino, 2016). <br />The main objective of the present proposal is at the crossroads of challenge 4 (« Life, health, well-being «) and challenge 8 (« innovative, integrative and adaptive Societies«) and covers the targeted topics of aging, mental health, disability and restriction of personal and social activity. It aims to go several steps further by investigating the neurocognitive mechanisms of the individuals’ capacity to travel abroad time taking into account all components - from the most episodic to the most semantic, from the individual aspects to the collective ones, and according to the temporal distance of projection in the future - and links with personal and social identity. <br />Our main hypothesis is that the semantic representation of individual and collective future increases with the projection distance and aging that in turn impacts personal and social identity and well-being.
The TEMPORALITY project uses a multimodal methodological approach to study the representations of the individual and social future combining behavioral (online questionnaires, laboratory experiences) and physiological measurements, functional and anatomical neuroimaging techniques as well as an innovative immersive projection method via embodiment in virtual reality (VR).
The methodology is specifically designed to test the nature of future thoughts according to the content of the information (episodic / semantic, personal / impersonal) and the temporal distance (near and far) and the links with well-being and autonomy. We started the inclusion of young and old healthy subjects, and patients with semantic dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
The research program is structured around two main complementary axes: 1) Studies on past and future autobiographical narrative contents and links with past and future collective representations and personal and social identity (WP1 : Panel studies & WP2: lab. studies); 2) studies on subjective temporal individual and social projections via virtual reality (WP3 & WP4). This research program focuses on behavioral and cerebral aspects from EEG and functional and anatomic neuroimaging studies in healthy subjects and patients.
Panel studies (WP1) have investigated the role of the presence of phenomenological features in the link between projection into the future and well-being. Study 1 (N = 1004) focused on self-projection, as an individual, in the future, also called Self Possible (Collange et al., In preparation), while Study 2 ( N = 611 women), extended the issue to collective projection - here women - in the future or possible social identity. These early studies show that when individuals generate positive possible selves, well-being (current and anticipated) and motivation are more important as the possible selves have many phenomenological characteristics. When women generate hoped-for social identities, collective hope is more important as these potential social identities include many phenomenological features. In addition, support for women's advocacy, particularly radical, is not influenced by the valence of the projection, but mainly by the presence of phenomenological characteristics.
As part of the laboratory studies (WP2), two original experimental protocols (EEG and eye movements) were set up to test our hypotheses of semanticization of autobiographical projections with projection distance in young and healthy elderly subjects. A behavioral study performed in patients with Alzheimer's disease or semantic dementia shows opposite performance profiles in both pathologies in accordance with the assumptions of the TEDIFT theoretical model (La Corte & Piolino, 2016). Thus, the role of episodic representations is more important for the near future (and the near past) while the role of semantic representations is more important for the distant future (and the distant past). A case study in a patient with semantic dementia is submitted in an international journal (La Corte et al., Submitted) and an article on both groups of patients is in preparation (La Corte et al., In preparation).
This ANR project will significantly contribute to further research on personal and social mechanisms of projection in the future: 1) At the theoretical level, our results significantly enhance existing knowledge about the interaction between memories and future thoughts (in episodic dimension or semantics, individual and social domain, different temporal distance). Accordingly, we propose a new taxonomy of future thoughts and discuss (confirm or reverse) of a new theoretical model neurocognitive (TEDIFT La Corte & Piolino, 2016). This project is particularly innovative in understanding how people mobilize, more or less consciously, cognitive, emotional and motivational resources to perform a travel business in the future personal and collective in relation to their identity and well-being; 2) At the technical and economic levels, the project will provide virtual environments suitable for the elderly and allowing a subjective trip over time; 3) At the social level, promoting projection activities in the personal and collective future can be beneficial for the well-being of an individual and a society; 4) At the clinical level, the project will develop tools to evaluate different aspects of exploration in the personal and impersonal temporality and new methods of non-drug therapy.
La Corte V., Michon A., Ferrieux S., Abram M., Dubois B., Teichmann M., Piolino P. Ecological evaluation of prospective memory in early Alzheimer’s disease and semantic dementia : validity of a virtual reality task; . ICPS Paris, France, 7-9 March 2019.
Over the past two decades, the study of the processes of episodic memory involved in the recall of events personally lived and located in time and space has been expanded to encompass the processes involved in the future dimension, to imagine specific events which could happen to us. This capacity appears crucial in adaptative and social behaviors and wellbeing. Given the fact that objectively the perspective of future time reduces as time passes and people get older, this issue is particularly important in aging. However, the role of personal and impersonal semantic representations in future thoughts as well as the respective role of explicit and implicit processes remain dramatically misunderstood. Moreover, in a social psychology perspective, processes determining the link between self or collective projection and behaviors are unknown. Additionally, several studies suggested that there are different mechanisms involved in function of the temporal distance into the future (La Corte & Piolino, 2016).
The main objective of the present proposal is to go several steps further by investigating the neurocognitive mechanisms of the individuals’ capacity to travel abroad time taking into account all components and links with personal and social identity. Our main hypothesis is that the semantic representation of future increases with the projection distance and aging that in turn impacts personal and social identity and well-being. This project will use a transdisciplinary approach between social and experimental psycholology, cognitive neurosciences and geriatric neuropsychology based on behavioral, physiological measures, advanced neuroimaging techniques as well as an ecological method using embodied immersion in virtual reality environments. This novel approach will lead us to put light on the interplay between memory, temporality, and personal and social identity. This project is also innovative because it has the potential to establish a new taxonomy of future individual and collective thinkings and to offer new recommendations to improve the anticipation and positive appropriation of their individual and collective future for the elderly, which has the potential to improve older people’s well-being.
The consortium involves three French partners who will work in very close collaboration and who present all the expertise required for the project: the Center of Psychiatry and Neurosciences (CPN, UMR-S894, Université Sorbonne Paris Cité & INSERM), which is the coordinating partner and expert in neurocognition, the Laboratory of Adaptations, Works and Individuals (EA 4469) with expertise in social psychology and the Clinical Unit for Dementia at Salpêtrière Hospital (IM2A) with expertise in clinical neurology and geriatry. Two neuroimaging platforms are involved either at Sainte Anne hospital where the CPN is located or at the Salpêtrière Hospital. In addition, the project will benefit from the collaboration of a European partner (Riva’s group) expert in virtual embodiment in young and old adults and patients. The TEMPORALITY project enters in a domain of research – virtual reality and aging - that is supported by University “Sorbonne Paris Cité” (Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir, IDEX Aging Dynamic).
Madame Pascale Piolino (LABORATOIRE MEMOIRE,CERVEAU et COGNITION)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
CPN-INSERM CENTRE DE PSYCHIATRIE ET NEUROSCIENCES
UPDescartes-EA4469 LABORATOIRE ADAPTATIONS TRAVAIL INDIVIDU
IM2A Institut de la Mémoire et de la Maladie d'Alzheimer
Applied Tecnhology for Neuropsychology Lab
MC2 Lab LABORATOIRE MEMOIRE,CERVEAU et COGNITION
Help of the ANR 978,689 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 48 Months