The New Neuroscience of Memory and How it Shapes Us | How To Academy


Tue, 12 March 2024

6:45 pm - 8:00 pm GMT

The New Neuroscience of Memory and How it Shapes Us

Prof. Charan Ranganath, University of California

A world-leading pioneer of our understanding of human memory, Prof. Charan Ranganath joins Robin Ince to reveal how and why we remember – and how to hold on to what we hold most dear.

We talk about memory as a record of the past, but here’s a surprising twist: we aren’t supposed to remember everything. In fact, we’re designed to forget.

Over the course of twenty-five years, neuroscientist Charan Ranganath has studied the flawed, incomplete and purposefully inaccurate nature of memory to find that our brains haven’t evolved to keep a comprehensive record of events, but to extract the information needed to guide our futures.

He joins us to unveil the principles behind what and why we forget and shines new light on the silent, pervasive influence of memory on how we learn, heal and make decisions. By examining the role that attention, intention, imagination and emotion play in the storing of memories, he will provide a vital user’s guide to remembering what we hold most dear.

Praise for Charan Ranganath’s Why We Remember:

‘A radically new and engaging explanation of how and why we remember … a tour de force of both individual and collective importance.’ – Matthew Walker

‘Not only will every reader remember better afterward, they’ll also never forget this life-changing book.’ – Siddhartha Mukherjee

‘There is no one better positioned than Ranganath to guide readers on a tour of this inner landscape.’ – David Eagleman

This event is presented in partnership with the Royal Society of Medicine. The RSM is one of the UK’s leading providers of continuing learning for healthcare professionals. They bring people together to have the medical conversations that matter. Their vision is “Better Healthcare for Better Lives” and as a registered charity and membership organisation they aim to achieve this by sharing learning and supporting innovation across all areas of healthcare.

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Charan Ranganath


Charan Ranganath is the Director of the Memory and Plasticity Program and a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of California at Davis. He is also the Director of the University of California at Davis’ Dynamic Memory Lab, a world-leading research laboratory. Ranganath is a pioneer in the use of brain imaging techniques like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the mechanisms in the brain that allow us to remember past events. His work has been recognised with numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Leverhulme Professorship at the University of Cambridge. He lives in California.

Robin Ince

Comedian and co-host of The Infinite Monkey Cage.

Robin Ince is the co-presenter of Radio 4’s multiple award winning The Infinite Monkey Cage. He spent 2019 appearing across the world in the Universal tour with Brian Cox – travelling from LA to Oslo, Wellington to Aberdeen and ending up in Reykjavik after shows at the O2 and Wembley Arena. Robin co-wrote How to Build a Universe (part 1) with Brian Cox and authored other works including The Importance of Being Interested – Adventures in Scientific Curiosity, and his most recent book, Bibliomaniac: An Obsessive’s Tour of the Bookshops of Britain.