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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2007 Mar;13(2):335-43.

Autobiographical memory of adolescence and early adulthood events: an investigation in schizophrenia.

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  • 1INSERM Département de Psychiatrie, Hôpitaux Universitaires, Strasbourg, France.

Abstract

The reminiscence bump corresponds to a marked increase in autobiographical memories of events that occurred when normal people were aged 10 to 30 years, a critical period for the formation of identity. The reminiscence bump was studied in 27 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and 27 control participants. They were asked to recall 20 specific autobiographical events that had occurred during their lifetime and to indicate the subjective states of awareness associated with the recalled memories using the Remember/Know procedure. Finally, participants were asked to state whether recalled memories related to private or public events. Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia recalled less specific memories than controls and exhibited an earlier reminiscence bump. They recalled more public, and less private events than controls, and they gave fewer Remember responses. The reminiscence bump peaked in the 16 to 25-year period for patients and the 21 to 25-year period for controls. These findings indicate that patients diagnosed with schizophrenia exhibit an early and abnormal reminiscence bump, with an impairment of conscious recollection associated with memories highly relevant to personal identity. They suggest that schizophrenia is associated with an impairment of autobiographical memories of events that had occurred during the last stage of personal identity development.

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