4th International Conference on Memory

June 22, 2006

You must remember this ...

4th International conference on memory (ICOM-4)

16 - 21 July, 2006

University of New South Wales

Go to the ICOM-4 website for information and register for breaking news.


Memory has long held interest for scientists. In July UNSW will host the 4th International Conference on Memory (ICOM-4), which will see 700 delegates on campus to share new fundamental and applied research in the area of human memory. Like memory itself, ICOM-4's scientific program is crammed with an extraordinary array of content, comprising keynote addresses by international leaders, themed symposia, oral papers and poster presentations.

500 presentations

The week-long conference will see and hear 500 presentations by scholars from 40 nations. They will speak about memory and its association with brain injury, emotion, ageing, eyewitness accounts, stress, arousal, trauma and abuse, amnesia, and the science of pinpointing memory though new advances in brain imaging and neuroanatomy.

Media highlights

ICOM-4 will hear a host of international scholars who have shaped modern scientific understanding of memory. All seasoned media performers, they include Daniel Schacter (Harvard University), Henry L. Roediger III (Washington University), Robyn Fivush (Emory University), Fergus Craik (University of Toronto) and Martin Conway (University of Leeds).

Media Kit - Contact Dan Gaffney for a copy of the media kit that contains more detailed information about newsworthy speakers and papers (contact details below).

Why the 'pop quiz' is better for memory than cramming

Washington University psychologist, Henry Roediger III will reveal that repeated test-taking produces better memory recall than repeated studying. His research shows that the dreaded 'pop-quiz' -- given early and often -- may be a student's best friend when it comes to understanding and retaining information for the long haul.

The seven sins of memory

Dr Schacter will speak about the difference between conscious and nonconscious forms of memory, and the mechanisms responsible for distorted memories and forgetting. A giant in the field, Schacter is the bestselling author of The Seven Sins of Memory, which describes memory's fundamental transgressions as transience, absentmindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias and persistence.

Brain fade and aging

Like it or not, our memory starts eroding form middle age, says University of Toronto psychologist, Fergus Craik. But it's not all bad news. Craik will reveal that, while memory for specific events declines from the 40s on, other types of memory can hold up well with advancing age. These include memory for well-known words, facts and ideas, and even memory for information held in the mind for a short time, such as telephone numbers. As we age, all of us are going to make more use of lists, reminders and prompts, says Professor Craik.

Forming childhood memories through storytelling

Robyn Fivush will explain the role storytelling in forging autobiographical memory -- the "facts" and events that we recall of our life. Based at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, Professor Fivush says narratives provide a way of "making sense" and "creating meaning" from our everyday experiences. "As we talk about our experiences with others," she says, "we reinterpret, re-evaluate and reconstruct our experiences for ourselves. She says kids learn what events are "reportable" and how to report them, and in this way develop an "autobiographical voice".


One of the world's foremost memory researchers, Leeds University Professor Martin Conway, will give a free public lecture at 6pm, Wednesday 19 July in the Clancy Auditorium. He will reveal how the findings from memory research are being applied in the areas of brain injury, education, careers, employment and the justice system.

Professor Conway is Professor of Psychology and Director of Research at the Institute of Psychological Sciences at Leeds University in the UK. His research interests include autobiographical memory -- how and what we remember and forget about our past - and the 'reminiscence bump', a period typically between the ages of 15 and 20 when we lay down key memories that shape our sense of self.

Professor Conway will speak at 6pm, Wednesday 19 July in the Clancy Auditorium (map reference C24).

UNSW speakers

27 academics and postgraduate students from UNSW's psychology department will speak at ICOM-4. They include: Richard Bryant (posttraumatic stress disorder), Richard Kemp (face recognition and eyewitness memory), Amanda Barnier (autobiographical memory), Rick Richardson (neurophysiological underpinnings of early memory), Ben Newall (decision making), Brett Hayes (memory development), Chris Mitchell (memory for cause), Karen Salmon (children's and parent's memory for traumatic events), Julie Henry and Skye McDonald (memory following brain injury).
Media registration - journalists should email charris@psy.unsw.edu.au for complimentary conference registration.

UNSW campus map -- http://www.facilities.unsw.edu.au/maps/kensington.pdf

Media Kit - Contact Dan Gaffney for a copy of the media kit that contains more detailed information about newsworthy speakers and papers.

Media contact - Dan Gaffney +61 (0) 411 156 015; dgaffney@science.unsw.edu.au

University of New South Wales

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