This study investigated whether temporal clustering of autobiographical memories around periods of self-development would also occur when imagining future events associated with the self. Participants completed an AM task and future thinking task. In both tasks, memories and future events were cued using participant-generated identity statements . Participants then dated their memories and future events, and finally gave an age at which each identity statement was judged to emerge. Dates of memories and future events were recoded as temporal distance from (...) the identity statement used to cue them. AMs and future events both clustered robustly around periods of self-development, indicating the powerful organisational effect of the self. We suggest that life narrative structures are used to organise future events as well as memories. (shrink)
Can the psychodynamics of the mind be correlated with neurodynamic processes in the brain? The book revisits a question that scientists and psychoanalysts have been asking for more than a century. It brings together experts from Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Psychiatry and Neurology to consider this question.
The content of dreams and changes to the self were investigated in students moving to University. In study 1, 20 participants completed dream diaries and memory tasks before and after they had left home and moved to university, and generated self images, “I am…” statements , reflective of their current self. Changes in “I ams” were observed, indicating a newly-formed ‘university’ self. These self, images and related autobiographical knowledge were found to be incorporated into recent dreams but not into dreams (...) from other periods. Study 2 replicated these findings in a different sample . We suggest that these data reflect a period of self-consolidation in which new experiences and self images are incorporated into autobiographical memory knowledge structures representing personal goals during sleep. (shrink)
Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness affecting sense of identity. Autobiographical memory deficits observed in schizophrenia could contribute to this altered sense of identity. The ability to give a meaning to personally significant events is also critical for identity construction and self-coherence. Twenty-four patients with schizophrenia and 24 control participants were asked to recall five self-defining memories. We assessed meaning making in participants’ narratives and afterwards asked them explicitly to give a meaning to their memories . We found that both (...) spontaneous and cued meaning making were impaired in patients with schizophrenia. This impairment was correlated with executive dysfunctions and level of negative symptoms. Our results suggest that patients’ difficulties in drawing lessons about past experiences could contribute to explain the lack of coherence observed in their life trajectories and their impaired social adjustment abilities. Implications for psychotherapy are also discussed. (shrink)
The Remember–Know paradigm is commonly used to examine experiential states during recognition. In this paradigm, whether a Know response is defined as a high-confidence state of certainty or a low-confidence state based on familiarity varies across researchers, and differences in definitions and instructions have been shown to influence participants’ responding. Using a novel approach, in three internet-based questionnaires participants were placed in the role of ‘memory expert’ and classified others’ justifications of recognition decisions. Results demonstrated that participants reliably differentiated between (...) others’ memory experiences – both in terms of confidence and other inherent differences in the justifications. Furthermore, under certain conditions, manipulations of confidence were found to shift how items were assigned to subjective experience categories . Findings are discussed in relation to the relationship between subjective experience and confidence, and the separation of Know and Familiar response categories within the Remember–Know paradigm. (shrink)
Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness, which affects sense of identity. While the ability to have a coherent vision of the self relies partly on its reciprocal relationships with autobiographical memories, little is known about how memories ground “self-images” in schizophrenia. Twenty-five patients with schizophrenia and 25 controls were asked to give six autobiographical memories related to four self-statements they considered essential for defining their identity. Results showed that patients’ self-images were more passive than those of controls. Autobiographical memories underlying (...) self-images were less thematically linked to these self-images in patients. We also found evidence of a weakened sense of self and a deficient organization of autobiographical memories grounding the self in schizophrenia. These abnormalities may account for the poor cohesiveness of the self in schizophrenia. (shrink)
One of the main aims of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on autobiographical memory was to provide researchers with an opportunity to ‘stick their necks out’ and throw open for public scrutiny theoretical claims they might otherwise have kept to themselves. In the papers collected in the present volume the reader will find that this is just what occurs. Even where an author has chosen to present new empirical findings these are accompanied by the type of theoretical speculation often edited (...) out in, for example, journal submissions. Thus, the intention of the book, like the workshop, is to provide an impetus to the development of theory in autobiographical memory research. (shrink)
Neither the storehouse nor the correspondence metaphor is an appropriate conceptual framework for memory research. Instead a meaning-based account of human memory is required. The correspondence metaphor is an advance over previous suggestions but entails an oversimple view of “accuracy.” Freud's account of memory may provide a more fruitful approach to memory and meaning.