Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 4

autobiographical memory Related Abstracts

4 Reminiscence Bump in Autobiographical Memory of Freedom Fighters in Bangladesh

Authors: Eamin Zahan Heanoy, Asheek Mohammad Shimul

Abstract:

The purpose of the present study was to address theoretical issues of reminiscence bump in autobiographical memory using the freedom fighters of Bangladesh as participants. It was assumed that they had a lot of negative memories during the liberation war in 1971 and those events would reflect the construction of reminiscence bump. Three hundred and twenty (320) freedom fighters were selected using mixed method (purposive and random) sampling technique. The freedom fighters were taken from 10 randomly chosen districts of 64. The participants recalled and dated autobiographical memories from across the lifespan. The age of the participants was between 50 to 80+ years. Memories were encoded at the time of the age when the events occurred. As expected the reminiscence bump, preferential recall of memories from second and third decade was observed. Results indicate that the bump for the participants was found 16 to 26 years. And most remarkably, they recalled most of the memories from 1971, the liberation war. Different retrieval curve has been found for male and female participants. The results have been discussed in the light of recent developments in reminiscence bump research.

Keywords: autobiographical memory, freedom fighters, liberation war, reminiscence bump

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3 Effects of Bilateral Electroconvulsive Therapy on Autobiographical Memories in Asian Patients

Authors: Lai Gwen Chan, Yining Ong, Audrey Yoke Poh Wong

Abstract:

Background. The efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a form of treatment to a range of mental disorders is well-established. However, ECT is often associated with either temporary or persistent cognitive side-effects, resulting in the failure of wider prescription. Of which, retrograde amnesia is the most commonly reported cognitive side-effect. Most studies found a recalling deficit in autobiographical memories to be short-term, although a few have reported more persistent amnesic effects. Little is known about ECT-related amnesic effects in Asian population. Hence, this study aims to resolve conflicting findings, as well as to better elucidate the effects of ECT on cognitive functioning in a local sample. Method: 12 patients underwent bilateral ECT under the care of Psychological Medicine Department, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore. Participants’ cognition and level of functioning were assessed at four time-points: before ECT, between the third and fourth induced seizure, at the end of the whole course of ECT, and two months after the index course of ECT. Results: It was found that Global Assessment of Functioning scores increased significantly at the completion of ECT. Case-by-case analyses also revealed an overall improvement in Personal Semantic and Autobiographical memory two months after the index course of ECT. A transient dip in both personal semantic and autobiographical memory scores was observed in one participant between the third and fourth induced seizure, but subsequently resolved and showed better performance than at baseline. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that ECT is an effective form of treatment to alleviate the severity of symptoms of the diagnosis. ECT does not affect attention, language, executive functioning, personal semantic and autobiographical memory adversely. The findings suggest that Asian patients may respond to bilateral ECT differently from Western samples.

Keywords: Cognitive Impairment, Psychiatric Disorder, autobiographical memory, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

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2 Language Use in Autobiographical Memory Transcripts as a Window into Attachment Style and Personality

Authors: McKenzie S. Braley, Lesley Jessiman

Abstract:

If language reveals internal psychological processing, then it is also likely that language use in autobiographical memory transcripts may be used as a window into attachment style and related personality features. The current study, therefore, examined the possible associations between attachment style, negative affectivity, social inhibition, and linguistic features extracted from autobiographical memory transcripts. Young adult participants (n = 61) filled out attachment and personality questionnaires, and orally reported a relationship-related memory. Memories were audio-recorded and later transcribed verbatim. Using a computerized linguistic extraction tool, positive affect words, negative affect words, and cognition words were extracted. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients revealed that attachment anxiety was negatively correlated with cognition words (r2 = -0.26, p = 0.047) and that negative affectivity was negatively correlated with positive affect words (r2 = -0.32, p = 0.012). The findings suggest that attachment style and personality are associated with speech styles indicative of both emotionality and depth of processing. Because attachment styles, negative affectivity, and social inhibition are associated with poor mental health outcomes, analyses of key linguistics features in autobiographical memory narratives may provide reliable screening tools for mental wellbeing.

Keywords: Language, attachment style, autobiographical memory, negative affectivity, social inhibition

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1 Examining Historically Defined Periods in Autobiographical Memories for Transitional Events

Authors: Khadeeja Munawar, Shamsul Haque

Abstract:

We examined the plausibility of transition theory suggesting that memories of transitional events, which give rise to a significant and persistent change in the fabric of daily life, are organized around the historically defined autobiographical periods (H-DAPs). 141 Pakistani older adults retrieved 10 autobiographical memories (AMs) each to 10 cue words. As the history of Pakistan is dominated by various political and nationwide transitional events, it was expected that the participants would recall memories with H-DAPs references. The content analysis revealed that 0.7% of memories had H-DAP references and 0.4% memories mentioned major transitional events such as War/Natural Disaster. There was a vivid reminiscence bump between 10 - 20 years of age in lifespan distribution of AMs. There were 67.9% social-focused AMs. Significantly more self-focused memories were reported by individuals who endorsed themselves as conservatives. Only a few H-DAPs were reported, although the history of Pakistan was dominated by numerous political, historical and nationwide transitional events. Memories within and outside of the bump period were mostly positive. The participants rarely used historical/political or nationwide significant events or periods to date the memories elicited. The intense and nationwide (as well as region-wise) significant historical/political events spawned across decades in the lives of participants of the present study but these events did not produce H-DAPs. The findings contradicted the previous studies on H-DAPs and transition theory. The dominance of social-focused AMs in the present study is in line with the past studies comparing the memories of collectivist and individualist cultures (i.e., European Americans vs. Asian, African and Latin-American cultures). The past empirical evidence shows that conservative values and beliefs are adopted as a coping strategy to feel secure in the face of danger when future is dominated with uncertainty and to connect to likeminded others. In the present study, conservative political ideology is somehow assisting the participants in living a stable life midst of their complex social worlds. The reminiscence bump, as well as dominance of positive memories within and outside the bump period, are in line with the narrative/identity account which states that the events and experiences during adolescence and early adulthood assimilate into a person’s lifelong narratives. Hence these events are used as identity markers and are more easily recalled later in life. Also, according to socioemotional theory and the positivity effect, the participants evaluated past events more positively as they grow up and the intensity of negative emotions decreased with time.

Keywords: Pakistan, autobiographical memory, reminiscence bump, historically defined autobiographical periods, narrative/identity account, SMS framework, transition theory

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