The Great Courses course overview: Memory and the human lifespan (TGC1911)

The Great Courses (TGC) is a company that sells audio- and video-based course lectures created by university professors on a wide variety of topics. This course is about memory, and the lectures are from Dr. Steve Joordens, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

TGC’s description of this course

From their website  : ‘What if your memory suddenly vanished? What if you could no longer summon up any recollections of your mother’s embrace, a best friend’s confidences, or the moment you first met your spouse? What if you couldn’t even remember yourself—not your name, your school, where you worked, or even the face of the total stranger staring back at you from the mirror? If all of these memories were gone, would “self” even have a meaning?

The truth is that while you may think of human memory as a capacity—a way to call up important facts or episodes from your past—it is much, much more.

Your various memory systems, in fact, provide the continuity of consciousness that allows the concept of “you” to make sense, creating the ongoing narrative that makes your life truly yours. Without those systems and the overall experience of memory they make possible, you would have no context for the most crucial decisions of your life. You would have to make—without the benefit of experience and knowledge—the decisions that determine not only your quality of life, but your very survival. And your ability to learn, or even to form the personality that makes you unique, would similarly be set adrift.’

I would add…

(Not sure yet — I’m still going through the lectures!)


  1. Memory is a party
  2. The ancient “art of memory”
  3. Rote memorization and a science of forgetting
  4. Sensory memory: brief traces of the past
  5. The conveyor belt of working memory
  6. Encoding: our gateway into long-term memory
  7. Episodic and semantic long-term memory
  8. The secret passage: implicit memory
  9. From procedural memory to habit
  10. When memory systems battle: habits versus goals
  11. Sleep and the consolidation of memories
  12. Infant and early childhood memory
  13. Animal cognition and memory
  14. Mapping memory in the brain
  15. Neural network models
  16. Learning from brain damage and amnesias
  17. The many challenges of Alzheimer’s disease
  18. That powerful glow of warm familiarity
  19. Deja vu and the illusion of memory
  20. Recovered memories or false memories?
  21. Mind the gaps! Memory as reconstruction
  22. How we choose what’s important to remember
  23. Aging, memory, and cognitive transition
  24. The monster at the end of the book

Leave a reply