Memory Research 2017

Diane Pepe, Director of ASEP, is currently engaged in research related to memory and learning.  She received a sabbatical and Provost Faculty Grant from the University of the Arts, where she is Associate Professor, to support this endeavor.  The focus on her investigation it two-fold: to understand the biological basis and scientific processes of human memory as an educator and to understand how memory relates to the visual arts in her own personal sculptural work. 

Last month, Diane interviewed noble laureate, Dr. Eric Kandel, director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University, whose work was the initial inspiration for her interest in the biological basis for memory. Dr. Kandel has written several pivotal books regarding memory, including In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind; he has published two books on the intersection of art and science: The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present and Reductionism in Art and Brain Science: Bridging the Two Cultures.

Diane will also be interviewing Dr. Daniel Schacter, Director of the Schacter Memory Lab at Harvard University and recipient of numerous distinguished awards, including a National Academy of Sciences Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His book Searching for Memory was influential to Diane’s sculptural work as well as to her understanding of the constructive nature of memory recall and memory’s role in the simulation of future events and scenarios.

Diane will be presenting a lecture to the Schacter Memory Lab on an innovative course she designed for The University of the Arts;  Responsive Memory is a cross-curricular course that included workshops by dancers, musicians, writers and visual artists whose creative work was engaged in memory processes. Diane will also discuss her creative sculptures and drawings that relate to the constructive process of episodic memory recall.

In 2015, Diane based the ASEP Early Summer Program – Art of Memory, Memory and Learning –on the design, information, and projects initiated at her Responsive Memory course at the University of the Arts, The program included age-appropriate multicultural constructions of mnemonic devices, understanding scientific processes of memory, and the critical role memory has in cognitive development and learning in the creative and engaging atmosphere of the ASEP Summer Program.