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Chronologically organized structure in autobiographical memory search.

Brunec, IK; Chadwick, MJ; Javadi, AH; Guo, L; Malcolm, CP; Spiers, HJ; (2015) Chronologically organized structure in autobiographical memory search. Front Psychol , 6 , Article 338. 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00338. Green open access

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Abstract

Each of us has a rich set of autobiographical memories that provides us with a coherent story of our lives. These memories are known to be highly structured both thematically and temporally. However, it is not known how we naturally tend to explore the mental timeline of our memories. Here we developed a novel cued retrieval paradigm in order to investigate the temporal element of memory search. We found that, when asked to search for memories in the days immediately surrounding a salient cued event, participants displayed a marked set of temporal biases in their search patterns. Specifically, participants first tended to jump back in time and retrieve memories from the day prior to the cued event. Following this they then transitioned forward in time, and retrieved memories from the day after the cued event. This pattern of results replicated in a second experiment with a much larger group of participants, and a different method of cueing the memories. We argue that this set of temporal biases is consistent with memory search conforming to a temporally ordered narrative structure.

Type: Article
Title: Chronologically organized structure in autobiographical memory search.
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00338
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00338
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 Brunec, Chadwick, Javadi, Guo, Malcolm and Spiers. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: Contextual memory, episodic memory, event boundaries, temporal structure
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1466677
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