For sociologists, our individual memories are shaped by the collective memory of our community. Until now, this phenomenon had never been studied at the neurobiological level. Inserm researchers Pierre Gagnepain and Francis Eustache (Inserm/Université de Caen-Normandie/Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes/Caen University Hospital/Cyceron Public Interest Group), in association with their colleagues from EQUIPEX MATRICE led by CNRS historian Denis Peschanski, studied the collective representations of WWII in France, using brain imaging to show how collective memory shapes individual memory. Their findings have been published in Nature Human Behaviour.
Collective memory shapes the organization of individual memories in the medial prefrontal cortex. Pierre Gagnepain, Thomas Vallée, Serge Heiden, Matthieu Decorde, Jean-Luc Gauvain, Antoine Laurent, Carine Klein-Peschanski, Fausto Viader, Denis Peschanski, Francis Eustache. Nature Human Behaviour, décembre 2019. DOI : 10.1038/s41562-019-0779-z