Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

The ability to recall scenes is a stable individual difference: Evidence from autobiographical remembering

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  • David C. Rubin, Duke University

Four behavioral studies (ns ~ 200 to 400) extended neural studies of ventral stream damage and fMRI activation and behavioral studies of scene recall conducted on individual memories to individual differences in normal populations. Ratings of scene and contents were made on one set of autobiographical memories. Ratings of reliving, vividness, belief, emotional intensity, and temporal specificity were made on different memories. Thus, correlations between these ratings were due to variability in the participants, not the events remembered. Scene correlated more highly than contents with reliving, vividness, belief, and emotional intensity but not temporal specificity. Scene correlated more highly than other visual imagery tests with reliving, vividness, and belief. Scene correlated with individual differences tests of episodic memories and future events more highly than it did with tests of semantic memory and spatial navigation abilities. Moreover, scene had high test-retest correlations measured at periods of up to one month. The ability to recall scenes is a stable disposition, with both convergent and divergent validity, which predicts basic qualities of autobiographical memories. A Scene Recall Imagery Test is introduced.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104164
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

    Research areas

  • Autobiographical memory, Cognition, Individual differences, Memory, Neuropsychology, Scene recall

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