The myths and mechanics of memory and mental time travel. A one day workshop at the Institute of Continuing Education. Cambridge. 11th November 2017


Mental time travel allows us to re-visit our memories and imagine future scenarios. In this day of lectures and co-ordinated workshops we explore the complex relationships between memory and human experience, integrating evidence from science and the arts to discuss the subjective nature of memory and mental time travel. We argue that memory has evolved primarily for prospection and not as is most commonly presumed for retrospection. Indeed memory is not fixed but when used imaginatively, deliberately moves and shimmers to provide insight into the future that awaits us.

There is a practical element to this course which includes an opportunity to experience dancing Argentine Tango and making some origami shapes in addition to a standard lecture and discussion format. Activities are optional but encouraged. There will be two lectures and two practical workshops.

Course Programme

10:00 The Creative Navigator’s Compass Lecture
11:15 Coffee
11:45 The Creative Navigator’s Compass Workshop
13:00 Lunch
14:00 The Cognition of Beauty Lecture
15:15 Tea
15:30 The Cognition of the Beauty Workshop

16:30 Wrap Up: Mental Time Travel Revisited
16:45 Day school ends

About the tutors

Professor Nicola S Clayton is Professor of Comparative Cognition in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Clare College and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Her expertise lies in the contemporary study of comparative cognition, integrating a knowledge of both biology and psychology to introduce new ways of thinking about the evolution and development of intelligence in non-verbal animals and pre-verbal children.

Nicola is also Rambert Dance Company’s first Scientist in Residence. She collaborates with Mark Baldwin, the Artistic Director, on new choreographic works inspired by science including the Laurence Oliver award winning Comedy of Change, and Seven For A Secret Never To Be Told. Their latest piece, What Wild Ecstasy, saw its London premiere in May 2012.

Together with Clive Wilkins, who is Artist in Residence in the Department of Psychology, she has co-founded The Captured Thought, which integrates science and the arts to explore the subjective experience of thinking.

Clive Wilkins has exhibited widely, including at the National Portrait Gallery, London on several occasions. He has also exhibited at the Royal Academy and in private galleries in Cork Street, London – where he had a one man show in 2007. His work can be found in public and private collections. Clive has produced portraits of Sir Howard Hodgkin and Sir Peter Blake amongst others and has been presented publicly to HRH Princess Royal.

His writing and paintings have been in print on numerous occasions, most notably in his published work ‘The Creatures in the Night’, a story written and lavishly illustrated by Wilkins in 2008.

His current project, ‘Moustachio’, is a novel in four parts published by WIND on the WIRE. It explores imagination and questions aspects of consciousness and reality amidst the miasma of being.

He currently lives in the heart of England. In addition to writing, he continues to be a painter, teacher, performer and tango dancer.

Although this is a non-residential course, students requiring accommodation may be able to book B&B at Madingley Hall, as availability permits. Please contact or +44 (0)1223 746222 for availability and booking enquiries.

Dietary Requirements
If you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies please inform our Admissions Team on or +44 (0)1223 746262 if you have not already advised us of your requirements.

Additional Requirements
 Further information about student support

About clivewilkins

Artist & Writer
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