Psykologisk Institut

Seeing or hearing one's memories: Manipulating autobiographical memory imagery in schizophrenia

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  • Mélissa C Allé
  • ,
  • Fabrice Berna, Strasbourg University, Frankrig
  • Jean-Marie Danion, Strasbourg University, Frankrig
  • Dorthe Berntsen

The prevalence of auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia, and theories suggesting a link between autobiographical memory and hallucination, raise the possibility of a dominant role of auditory imagery in autobiographical remembering in patients with schizophrenia, whereas visual imagery is dominant in autobiographical memory of healthy adults. The present study explored this possibility by comparing autobiographical memory characteristics, according to sensory modality, in patients with schizophrenia versus healthy controls. Twenty-eight patients and 28 matched controls were asked to retrieve autobiographical memories that were dominated by auditory, visual, gustatory-olfactory, or tactile imagery. ANOVA analysis showed that patients rated their memories lower on specificity, contextual information, feeling of reliving, overall vividness, coherence and autobiographical me-ness (i.e. whether an autobiographical memory is experienced as belonging to the self), ps < 0.03, compared with control participants. The effects of sensory modality imagery were largely similar for patients and controls, as no interaction effects were observed. The findings did not support a dominance of auditory imagery in patients' autobiographical memory. In the patient group, reduced autobiographical me-ness was predicted by lower ratings of contextual information related to the setting of the event. Future research should examine whether these effects extend to involuntary autobiographical memory in schizophrenia.

TidsskriftPsychiatry Research
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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