Memory, Autobiographical

Bright, Peter and Kopelman, Michael D. (2014) Memory, Autobiographical. In: Encyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences. Academic Press, pp. 1036-1038. ISBN 978-0123851574

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Modern conceptualization of autobiographical memory distinguishes between episodic and personal semantic components. In essence, episodic autobiographical memory is the system that allows conscious reliving of personal experiences, a subjective ability to mentally travel back in time and recreate the unfolding of a specific event from our past. Recollecting autobiographical events is a reconstructive and subjective process, influenced by multiple factors, including the age and nature of the event and the characteristics of the individual retrieving it. In contrast, personal semantic memory refers to factual information about oneself and in this sense is not event-based. Evidence for the dissociability of episodic and semantic components has been demonstrated in neuropsychological studies of brain damaged patients and functional neuroimaging studies of healthy participants. The distinction is also of central importance in ongoing debates concerning the neural bases of long term memory storage and retrieval. However, complex interactions at all stages of memory formation and retrieval are likely and therefore episodic and semantic memory might best be considered as dimensional rather than independent or discrete systems. The role of autobiographical memory in the formation and continuity of self-identity is an emerging theme. Variability in the validity and sensitivity of autobiographical memory tests remains a major issue which has hampered attempts to resolve conflicting theoretical accounts in the literature.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: Citation: Bright, P. and Kopelman, M.D., 2014. “Autobiographical memory.In: M.J. Aminoff and R.B.Daroff, eds. 2014. Encyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences (2nd Ed.) Academic Press Inc..
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 13 May 2014 15:50
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:16

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