The Development of Autobiographical Memory

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-11-25
  • Publisher: Psychology Pres
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Autobiographical memory constitutes an essential part of our personality, giving us the ability to distinguish ourselves as an individual with a past, present and future. This book reveals how the development of a conscious self, an integrated personality and an autobiographical memory are all intertwined, highlighting the parallel development of the brain, memory and personality. Focusing strongly on developmental aspects of memory and integrating evolutionary and anthropological perspectives, areas of discussion include: why non-human animals lack autobiographical memory development of the speech areas in the brain prenatal and transnatal development of memory autobiographical memory in young children. This book offers a unique approach through combining both neuroscientfic and social scientific viewpoints, and as such will be of great interest to all those wanting to broaden their knowledge of the development and acquisition of memory and the conscious self.

Author Biography

Hans J. Markowitsch is Professor of Physiological Psychology and Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research at Bielefeld University, Germany. Harald Welzer is Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Memory Research in Essen and Research Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Witten/Herdecke. He also teaches at the University of Hannover, Germany, and at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. viii
An interdisciplinary view of memoryp. 1
A new approach to viewing memoryp. 3
Zones of convergence between different sciencesp. 15
True and false memoriesp. 17
Why other animals lack autobiographical memoryp. 29
Distinctions between the brains of humans and other primatesp. 30
Evolution and the brain: body weight and brain volume as indicators of intellectual maturity and abilitiesp. 41
Development of autobiographical memory and the brainp. 49
Interdependent development of memory and other cognitive and emotional functionsp. 51
Functions of the frontal lobesp. 51
Motivation and emotions: the limbic systemp. 55
World knowledge and consciousnessp. 56
Urbach-Wiethe disease: the relevance of the amygdala to emotionsp. 57
The hippocampus: an ancient cortex that made the phylogenetic journey from spatial analyzer to temporal analyzer of stimulip. 59
What is memory?p. 60
Sensory systems: the special sense of smellp. 62
Forms of learningp. 64
What kinds of memory are there?p. 66
Which areas of the brain are involved in information processing?p. 71
The development of the brainp. 74
Myelinization, synaptogenesis and pruning: mechanisms of functional development in neuronsp. 74
The course of development in the nervous system: phylogenesis and ontogenesisp. 83
Development and localization of speechp. 94
Plasticity: environmental influence on neuronal maturationp. 94
Development of the speech areas in the brainp. 102
Processes of maturation in the brain: prerequisites for the origin and consolidation of memoryp. 105
Priming versus consciousness: how modifiable are we?p. 108
Autobiographical memory: a lifelong developmental taskp. 111
Development of learning and memory: the prenatal period and the first months of lifep. 113
Prenatal and transnatal development of memory: earliest forms of learningp. 113
Brain structures of unconscious learning: basal ganglia and unimodal cortexp. 116
Memory during the first months of lifep. 118
Brain structures relevant to working memory: dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and associated areasp. 133
The first quantum leap in memory development: the 9 months' revolutionp. 143
The socialization of emotionsp. 147
Primary and secondary emotionsp. 148
Social interaction and neuronal developmentp. 150
Chunkingp. 153
The second quantum leap in memory development: languagep. 161
Acquisition of protolanguagep. 162
Protoconversationp. 165
Speech acquisitionp. 167
Memory talkp. 170
Theory of mind: psychological understandingp. 175
Brain structures relevant to psychological understanding or the theory of mind: the orbitofrontal cortex and adjacent areasp. 176
Exploring autobiographical memory in young childrenp. 181
Self-recognitionp. 182
Memory of eventsp. 182
Locality as a context for eventsp. 184
Arranging events chronologicallyp. 184
Autobiographical memory: a continuum in transformationp. 187
The age at which memory appears: results of an interdisciplinary research project on remembering and memoryp. 197
A formative theory of memory developmentp. 205
Episodic memory in the definition of Endel Tulvingp. 206
Memory at advanced agesp. 215
Working memory, executive functions and long-term memoryp. 220
Deficits in other cognitive and emotional functionsp. 225
Autobiographical memory: a biocultural relay between the individual and the environmentp. 231
Referencesp. 235
Indexp. 275
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