autobiographical memory
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2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Thomas C. Brouwers ◽  
Ad de Jongh ◽  
Suzy J. M. A. Matthijssen

Introduction: The Flash technique is a novel intervention aimed at rapidly decreasing the subjective disturbance of an aversive memory, thereby serving as a potential way of treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The protocol is used to stimulate clients to engage in positive imagery while being discouraged to actively recollect the targeted disturbing memory. Previous research into the Flash technique’s efficacy shows promising results, yet controlled studies are lacking.Objectives: To test the efficacy of the Flash technique, it was compared to an abbreviated eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy protocol in a controlled experimental setting. We hypothesized that the Flash technique would lead to a larger decrease in the emotionality and vividness of an aversive autobiographical memory when compared to EMDR therapy. Our second hypothesis was that the procedure of the Flash technique would be evaluated more pleasant by its receiver.Method: The sample consisted of 60 non-clinical participants (mean age = 25.28 years; 73.33% female) who were able to recall an aversive autobiographical memory. They were randomized to either the Flash technique or the EMDR therapy condition. Measurements consisted of emotionality and vividness-ratings pre and post intervention, and at 1-week follow-up.Results: Bayesian analyses showed no differences between Flash and EMDR to the extent to which the emotionality and vividness of their memory was reduced. Afterward, the Flash technique was rated more pleasant than EMDR.Conclusion: The results support the claim that the Flash technique might be used as a brief and efficacious intervention for individuals suffering from disturbing memories. Although the results suggest that its efficacy does not differ from EMDR, the Flash technique seems to yield similar outcomes in a more pleasant way. Further research into its working mechanisms and in a clinical sample is required.

V. B. Puetz ◽  
E. Viding ◽  
E. A. Maguire ◽  
A. Mechelli ◽  
D. Armbruster-Genç ◽  

Abstract Altered autobiographical memory (ABM) processing characterizes some individuals with experiences of childhood maltreatment. This fMRI study of ABM processing evaluated potential developmental plasticity in neural functioning following maltreatment. Adolescents with (N = 19; MT group) and without (N = 18; Non-MT group) documented childhood maltreatment recalled specific ABMs in response to emotionally valenced cue words during fMRI at baseline (age 12.71 ± 1.48) and follow-up (14.88 ± 1.53 years). Psychological assessments were collected at both timepoints. Longitudinal analyses were carried out with BOLD signal changes during ABM recall and psychopathology to investigate change over time. In both groups there was relative stability of the ABM brain network, with some developmental maturational changes observed in cortical midline structures (ventromedial PFC (vmPFC), posterior cingulate cortex (pCC), and retrosplenial cortex (rSC). Significantly increased activation of the right rSC was observed only in the MT group, which was associated with improved psychological functioning. Baseline group differences in relation to hippocampal functioning, were not detected at follow-up. This study provides preliminary empirical evidence of functional developmental plasticity in children with documented maltreatment experience using fMRI. This suggests that altered patterns of brain function, associated with maltreatment experience, are not fixed and may reflect the potential to track a neural basis of resilience.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Alberto Chamorro-Garrido ◽  
Encarnación Ramírez-Fernández ◽  
Ana Raquel Ortega-Martínez

Research has shown that happiness and well-being play a fundamental role in the health of older adults. For this reason, programs based on Positive Psychology seek to improve quality of life, preventing and reducing the appearance of emotional disorders. The objective of this study was to verify whether an intervention based on Autobiographical Memory, Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Sense of humor would increase quality of life in institutionalized older adults. We used a quasi-experimental design with pre- and post-intervention measures and follow-on measures at 3, 6, and 12 months. A total of 111 institutionalized older adults participated in the study and were randomly assigned to one of three groups: experimental (n = 36), placebo (n = 39), and control (n = 36). Measurements were taken of depression, subjective happiness, satisfaction with life, psychological well-being, and specific memories. Program duration was 11 weeks, followed by refresher sessions of the activities that had been conducted. The results showed that the intervention was effective, producing lasting increase in the participating adults’ well-being, maintained for the following 12 months, in contrast to the other two groups. In conclusion, the proposed intervention proved to be a novel tool that was effective, easily applied, and able to improve quality of life and emotional disorders in older adults.

Groupwork ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 30 (1) ◽  
pp. 77-87
Andrew P. Allen ◽  
Mary Lee Tully ◽  
Desmond O’Neill ◽  
Richard A.P. Roche

The current paper describes a reminiscence group activity session held as part of meaningful activities engagement for older adults. Topics of reminiscence included both autobiographical memories and memories of broader historical events from the past. Participants included those with memory impairment and those without, and participants with healthy memory were helpful in prompting memories in participants with memory impairment. Semantic and episodic autobiographical memory were assessed at baseline and following the end of both group activities, using the Episodic Autobiographical Memory Interview (EAMI) and quality of life was assessed using the Quality of Life AD-scale (QOL-AD). The reminiscence intervention did not significantly affect autobiographical memory recall or quality of life. However, oral reminiscence was reported to have increased outside of the reminiscence sessions.

2021 ◽  
Nicola Duff

<p>Self-control is an important skill because it helps us regulate many of our behaviours, such as how much we eat and drink. Limiting our intake of food and drink is sometimes difficult to do, however. One explanation for why self-control can be difficult is because the value for good health is discounted because it’s delayed, whereas the reward of food and drink are immediate. This is known as delay discounting: larger, future rewards (e.g. saving for a future holiday) decrease in value with the increase in delay and thus people sometimes pick a smaller, sooner reward instead (e.g. needless shopping now). Using a delay discounting paradigm, this study examined whether autobiographical memories can enhance self-control. Study 1 was a replication study and found that cuing participants to retrieve positive, episodic memories enhanced self-control. This effect was only evident in one out of two delay discounting measures used, however. Building on these findings, Study 2 and 3 investigated whether the amount of episodic detail in specific autobiographical memories and a positive self-concept contribute to the effect of autobiographical memory enhancing self-control. The amount of episodic detail recalled was not related to self-control and results about a positive self-concept were inconclusive. Unexpectedly Study 3 also yielded a non-significant result for positive, episodic memory enhancing self-control. Participants in Study 3 were, however, significantly more tired than participants in Study 1, raising the possibility that they were less engaged in the task. This pattern of findings suggests that the effect of autobiographical memory on self-control is fragile, and is possibly influenced by factors such as participant fatigue. Potential reasons for the fragile effect and inconclusive results, and a potential way forward are also discussed.</p>

2021 ◽  
Brandan Letham

<p>The ways we remember our past have been demonstrated to have important implications regarding our psychological functioning (Waters, 2014). Research suggests parents scaffold early remembering skills which can shape the amount of specific detail children can recall from their autobiographical memories (Autobiographical Memory Specificity; AMS) (Reese & Fivush, 1993; Reese, Haden, & Fivush, 1993; Valentino et al., 2014). The current study investigated whether parents and their adolescent children display similar patterns of AMS. In addition, previous literature has predominately utilised only one measure of AMS – the Autobiographical Memory Test (Williams & Broadbent, 1986). A critique of this measure and an argument for adopting a new measure of AMS is provided. A secondary aim was to examine the relationship between parent and adolescent rumination which has been shown to share an important relationship with AMS (Williams et al., 2007) and, like AMS, is suggested to be socialised early in the life span (Nolen-Hoeksema, Wisco, & Lyuboirsky, 2008). Sixty-seven parent-adolescent dyads were recruited, and measures of AMS and rumination were administered. A significant positive relationship between parent and adolescent rumination was found, however, the relationships between parent and adolescent AMS were non-significant. Implications regarding existing theory, limitations, and ideas for future research are discussed.</p>

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