Allan Baddeley's Autobiographical Memories

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Autobiographical memories Introduction: Autobiographical memories can be described as those events of an individual’s life, that the individual, claims to remember. Also, it can be thought of as events that take place during the course of an individual’s lifetime. Till the 1950s and 1960s, the major area in the field of research was Attention, but a major breakthrough in understanding memory was Miller’s 1956 paper, “The magical number seven, plus or minus two: some limits on our capacity for processing information”. It was because of this paper, that researchers thought of investigating more in the field of memory. Allan Baddeley, in the 1970’s came up with his model of working memory that described the executive function of our memory,…show more content…
They pop up more easily and involuntarily into consciousness. Ebbinghaus (1885/1964) was the first to classify them as Distinct Memories. Recent researchers think of such memories as a part of an automatic memory process, wherein the cues or stimuli present in one’s environment, activate the information that is already stored in the brain, and if the cues and the information match, then the memory pops up into the consciousness without any deliberate efforts. They called it as ‘ecphory’ (Greek word, meaning ‘to reveal’). Bernsten in his work, Involuntary Autobiographical Memories: An introduction to the unbidden past, (2009), says that these cues provide a rapid access to past experiences, which may have survival value in certain life situations that are threatening or require an immediate solution to a…show more content…
Significant challenges are posed due to the heterogeneous nature of AM, in capturing the correlation between its neuroanatomy and behaviour. Recently, researchers have become interested in the functional neuroanatomy of AM. In a study, Margaret et.al. used the effect-location method of meta-analysis to examine data from 24 functional imaging studies of Autobiographical Memory. The results showed that a core neural network of left-lateralized regions, including the medial and ventrolateral prefrontal, medial and lateral temporal and retrosplenial/posterior cingulate cortices, the temporoparietal junction and the cerebellum are the regions that are involved in the functioning of autobiographical memories. Although, the secondary and tertiary regions, are less frequently reported in imaging studies of AM, they were identified. They examined the neural correlates of putative component processes in AM, including, executive functions, self-reflection, episodic remembering and visuospatial processing. They, analyzed the effect of select variables on the AM network across individual studies, including memory age, qualitative factors (personal significance, level of detail and vividness), semantic and emotional content, and the effect of reference conditions,

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