Self-defining Memories and their Contribution to the Sense of Self in Alzheimer’s Disease

Author(s): Mohamad EL Haj*, Philippe Allain

Journal Name: Current Alzheimer Research

Volume 17 , Issue 6 , 2020


  Journal Home
Translate in Chinese
Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor

Abstract:

Aims: Unlike autobiographical memory (i.e., memory for personal information) in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), little is known about Self-Defining Memories (SDM) (i.e., memories of highly significant personal events) in AD.

Methods: The characteristics of self-defining memories in AD were evaluated by analyzing their specificity, emotional valence, and integration, as well as their centrality and contribution to self-continuity. Results demonstrated fewer specific SDM in AD participants than in controls.

Results: No significant differences were observed between AD participants and controls regarding the production of positive or integrated SDM. Furthermore, no significant differences were observed between AD participants and controls regarding the rating of the centrality of SDM and their contribution to self-continuity. These results demonstrate that, although AD participants produce fewer specific SDM than controls, both populations have similar levels of emotional valence, integration, centrality, and selfcontinuity of these memories.

Conclusion: It is concluded that patients with AD, at least those in the mild stages of the disease, can build on significant personal events and experiences (i.e., SDM) to reflect on how these events have changed the way they see themselves.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, autobiographical memory, memory, self, self-continuity, self-defining memories.

[1]
Blagov PS, Singer JA. Four dimensions of self-defining memories (specificity, meaning, content, and affect) and their relationships to self-restraint, distress, and repressive defensiveness. J Pers 2004; 72(3): 481-511.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-3506.2004.00270.x] [PMID: 15102036]
[2]
Singer JA, Blagov P, Berry M, Oost KM. Self-defining memories, scripts, and the life story: Narrative identity in personality and psychotherapy. J Pers 2013; 81(6): 569-82.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12005] [PMID: 22925032]
[3]
Sutin AR, Robins RW. When the “I” looks at the “Me”: Autobiographical memory, visual perspective, and the self. Conscious Cogn 2008; 17(4): 1386-97.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2008.09.001] [PMID: 18848783]
[4]
Conway MA, Singer JA, Tagini A. The self and autobiographical memory: Correspondence and coherence. Soc Cogn 2004; 22(5): 491-529.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1521/soco.22.5.491.50768]
[5]
Moffitt KH, Singer JA. Continulty in the life story: Self-defining memories, affect, and approach/avoidance personal strivings. J Pers 1994; 62(1): 21-43.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1994.tb00793.x]
[6]
Singer JA, Moffitt KH. An experimental investigation of specificity and generality in memory narratives. Imagin Cogn Pers 1992; 11(3): 233-57.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.2190/72A3-8UPY-GDB9-GX9K]
[7]
Barnabe A, Whitehead V, Pilon R, Arsenault-Lapierre G, Chertkow H. Autobiographical memory in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease: A comparison between the Levine and Kopelman interview methodologies. Hippocampus 2012; 22(9): 1809-25.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hipo.22015] [PMID: 22488637]
[8]
Leyhe T, Müller S, Milian M, Eschweiler GW, Saur R. Impairment of episodic and semantic autobiographical memory in patients with mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychologia 2009; 47(12): 2464-9.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.04.018] [PMID: 19409401]
[9]
Ivanoiu A, Cooper JM, Shanks MF, Venneri A. Patterns of impairment in autobiographical memory in the degenerative dementias constrain models of memory. Neuropsychologia 2006; 44(10): 1936-55.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.01.030] [PMID: 16519908]
[10]
El Haj M, Gandolphe MC, Gallouj K, Kapogiannis D, Antoine P. From nose to memory: The involuntary nature of odor-evoked autobiographical memories in Alzheimer’s disease. Chem Senses 2017; 43(1): 27-34.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjx064] [PMID: 29040475]
[11]
Kirk M, Berntsen D. A short cut to the past: Cueing via concrete objects improves autobiographical memory retrieval in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Neuropsychologia 2018; 110: 113-22.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.06.034] [PMID: 28676268]
[12]
Seidl U, Lueken U, Thomann PA, Geider J, Schröder J. Autobiographical memory deficits in Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis 2011; 27(3): 567-74.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-2011-110014] [PMID: 21841262]
[13]
El Haj M, Antoine P. Context memory in Alzheimer’s disease: The “who, where, and when”. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2018; 33(2): 158-67.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acx062] [PMID: 28666337]
[14]
El Haj M, Gallouj K, Antoine P. Mental imagery and autobiographical memory in Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychology 2019; 33(5): 609-16.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/neu0000521] [PMID: 30896237]
[15]
El Haj M, Kapogiannis D, Antoine P. Phenomenological reliving and visual imagery during autobiographical recall in alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis 2016; 52(2): 421-31.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-151122] [PMID: 27003216]
[16]
Irish M, Lawlor BA, O’Mara SM, Coen RF. Impaired capacity for autonoetic reliving during autobiographical event recall in mild Alzheimer’s disease. Cortex 2011; 47(2): 236-49.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2010.01.002] [PMID: 20153463]
[17]
Piolino P, Desgranges B, Belliard S, et al. Autobiographical memory and autonoetic consciousness: Triple dissociation in neurodegenerative diseases. Brain 2003; 126(Pt 10): 2203-19.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awg222] [PMID: 12821510]
[18]
El Haj M, Antoine P. Discrepancy between subjective autobiographical reliving and objective recall: The past as seen by Alzheimer’s disease patients. Conscious Cogn 2017; 49: 110-6.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2017.01.009] [PMID: 28171831]
[19]
El Haj M, Antoine P, Nandrino JL, Kapogiannis D. Autobiographical memory decline in Alzheimer's disease, a theoretical and clinical overview. Ageing Res Rev 2015; 23(Pt B): 183-92
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2015.07.001]
[20]
El Haj M, Roche J, Gallouj K, Gandolphe MC. Autobiographical memory compromise in Alzheimer’s disease: A cognitive and clinical overview. Geriatr Psychol Neuropsychiatr Vieil 2017; 15(4): 443-51.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1684/pnv.2017.0704] [PMID: 29187335]
[21]
Martinelli P, Anssens A, Sperduti M, Piolino P. The influence of normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease in autobiographical memory highly related to the self. Neuropsychology 2013; 27(1): 69-78.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0030453] [PMID: 23148495]
[22]
El Haj M, Antoine P, Nandrino JL, Gély-Nargeot MC, Raffard S. Self-defining memories during exposure to music in Alzheimer’s disease. Int Psychogeriatr 2015; 27(10): 1719-30.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1041610215000812] [PMID: 26018841]
[23]
Moos I, Björn A. Use of the life story in the institutional care of people with dementia: A review of intervention studies. Ageing Soc 2006; 26(03): 431-54.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X06004806]
[24]
Serrani Azcurra DJ. A reminiscence program intervention to improve the quality of life of long-term care residents with Alzheimer’s disease: A randomized controlled trial. Br J Psychiatry 2012; 34(4): 422-33.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rbp.2012.05.008] [PMID: 23429813]
[25]
El Haj M, Antoine P. Death preparation and boredom reduction as functions of reminiscence in Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis 2016; 54(2): 515-23.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-160497] [PMID: 27567866]
[26]
Holm T, Thomsen DK, Bliksted V. Life story chapters and narrative self-continuity in patients with schizophrenia. Conscious Cogn 2016; 45: 60-74.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2016.08.009] [PMID: 27567529]
[27]
Raffard S, D’Argembeau A, Lardi C, Bayard S, Boulenger JP, Van der Linden M. Narrative identity in schizophrenia. Conscious Cogn 2010; 19(1): 328-40.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2009.10.005] [PMID: 19955004]
[28]
Raffard S, D’Argembeau A, Lardi C, Bayard S, Boulenger JP, Van Der Linden M. Exploring self-defining memories in schizophrenia. Memory 2009; 17(1): 26-38.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658210802524232] [PMID: 19105085]
[29]
Berna F, Potheegadoo J, Aouadi I, et al. A meta-analysis of autobiographical memory studies in schizophrenia spectrum disorder. Schizophr Bull 2016; 42(1): 56-66.
[PMID: 26209548]
[30]
McKhann GM, Knopman DS, Chertkow H, et al. The diagnosis of dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease: Recommendations from the National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association workgroups on diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimers Dement 2011; 7(3): 263-9.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2011.03.005] [PMID: 21514250]
[31]
Folstein MF, Folstein SE, McHugh PR. “Mini-mental state”. A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res 1975; 12(3): 189-98.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0022-3956(75)90026-6] [PMID: 1202204]
[32]
Grober E, Buschke H. Genuine memory deficits in dementia. Dev Neuropsychol 1987; 3(1): 13-36.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/87565648709540361]
[33]
Singer JA, Blagov P. Classification system & scoringmanual for self-defining memories. New London, CT: Connecticut College 2002.
[34]
Brennan RL, Prediger DJ. Coefficient kappa: Some uses, misuses, and alternatives. Educ Psychol Meas 1981; 41(3): 687-99.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/001316448104100307]
[35]
Cohen J. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Associates 1988.
[36]
Rosenthal R, DiMatteo MR. Meta-analysis: Recent developments in quantitative methods for literature reviews. Annu Rev Psychol 2001; 52: 59-82.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.52.1.59] [PMID: 11148299]
[37]
Ellis PD. The essential guide to effect sizes: statistical power, meta-analysis, and the interpretation of research results. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press 2010.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511761676]
[38]
Grilli MD, Wank AA, Bercel JJ, Ryan L. Evidence for reduced autobiographical memory episodic specificity in cognitively normal middle-aged and older individuals at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease dementia. J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2018; 24(10): 1073-83.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1355617718000577] [PMID: 30136918]
[39]
Carstensen LL, Turan B, Scheibe S, et al. Emotional experience improves with age: Evidence based on over 10 years of experience sampling. Psychol Aging 2011; 26(1): 21-33.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0021285] [PMID: 20973600]
[40]
Carstensen LL, Isaacowitz DM, Charles ST. Taking time seriously. A theory of socioemotional selectivity. Am Psychol 1999; 54(3): 165-81.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.54.3.165] [PMID: 10199217]
[41]
Holtzer R, Scarmeas N, Wegesin DJ, et al. Depressive symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease: Natural course and temporal relation to function and cognitive status. J Am Geriatr Soc 2005; 53(12): 2083-9.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2005.00535.x] [PMID: 16398891]
[42]
Verkaik R, Nuyen J, Schellevis F, Francke A. The relationship between severity of Alzheimer’s disease and prevalence of comorbid depressive symptoms and depression: A systematic review. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2007; 22(11): 1063-86.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gps.1809] [PMID: 17457960]
[43]
Sundstrøm M. Modeling recall memory for emotional objects in Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn 2011; 18(4): 396-413.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13825585.2011.567324] [PMID: 21728888]
[44]
Kalenzaga S, Bugaïska A, Clarys D. Self-reference effect and autonoetic consciousness in Alzheimer disease: Evidence for a persistent affective self in dementia patients. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 2013; 27(2): 116-22.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/WAD.0b013e318257dc31] [PMID: 22596082]
[45]
Guzmán-Vélez E, Feinstein JS, Tranel D. Feelings without memory in Alzheimer’s disease. Cogn Behav Neurol 2014; 27(3): 117-29.
[46]
Turnbull K, Reid GJ, Morton JB. Behavioral sleep problems and their potential impact on developing executive function in children. Sleep (Basel) 2013; 36(7): 1077-84.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.5665/sleep.2814] [PMID: 23814345]
[47]
Philippi N, Botzung A, Noblet V, et al. Impaired emotional autobiographical memory associated with right amygdalar hippocampal atrophy in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Front Aging Neurosci 2015; 7: 21.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2015.00021] [PMID: 25852541]
[48]
El Haj M, Gandolphe MC, Wawrziczny E, Antoine P. Flashbulb memories of Paris attacks: Recall of these events and subjective reliving of these memories in a case with Alzheimer disease. Medicine (Baltimore) 2016; 95(46) e5448
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000005448] [PMID: 27861395]
[49]
Sava AA, Paquet C, Krolak-Salmon P, Dumurgier J, Hugon J, Chainay H. Emotional memory enhancement in respect of positive visual stimuli in Alzheimer’s disease emerges after rich and deep encoding. Cortex 2015; 65: 89-101.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2015.01.002] [PMID: 25681651]
[50]
Lalanne J, Rozenberg J, Grolleau P, Piolino P. The self-reference effect on episodic memory recollection in young and older adults and Alzheimer’s disease. Curr Alzheimer Res 2013; 10(10): 1107-17.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/15672050113106660175] [PMID: 24156261]
[51]
Addis DR, Tippett LJ. Memory of myself: Autobiographical memory and identity in Alzheimer’s disease. Memory 2004; 12(1): 56-74.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658210244000423] [PMID: 15098621]
[52]
El Haj M, Antoine P. Describe yourself to improve your autobiographical memory: A study in Alzheimer’s disease. Cortex 2017; 88: 165-72.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2017.01.004] [PMID: 28142025]
[53]
Biringer F, Anderson JR. Self-recognition in Alzheimer’s disease: A mirror and video study. J Gerontol 1992; 47(6): 385-8.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronj/47.6.P385] [PMID: 1430860]
[54]
Biringer F, Anderson JR, Strubel D. Self-recognition in senile dementia. Exp Aging Res 1988; 14(4): 177-80.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03610738808259745] [PMID: 3251763]
[55]
Grewal RP. Self-recognition in dementia of the Alzheimer type. Percept Mot Skills 1994; 79(2): 1009-10.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.2466/pms.1994.79.2.1009] [PMID: 7870487]
[56]
Caddell LS, Clare L. The impact of dementia on self and identity: A systematic review. Clin Psychol Rev 2010; 30(1): 113-26.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2009.10.003] [PMID: 19896760]
[57]
Klein SB, Lax ML. The unanticipated resilience of trait self-knowledge in the face of neural damage. Memory 2010; 18(8): 918-48.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2010.524651] [PMID: 21108109]
[58]
Morris RG, Mograbi DC. Anosognosia, autobiographical memory and self knowledge in Alzheimer’s disease. Cortex 2013; 49(6): 1553-65.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2012.09.006] [PMID: 23117055]
[59]
Mograbi DC, Brown RG, Morris RG. Anosognosia in Alzheimer’s disease--the petrified self. Conscious Cogn 2009; 18(4): 989-1003.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2009.07.005] [PMID: 19683461]
[60]
Tippett LJ, Prebble SC, Addis DR. the persistence of the self over time in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Front Psychol 2018; 9: 94.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00094] [PMID: 29515473]
[61]
Souchay C. Metamemory in Alzheimer’s disease. Cortex 2007; 43(7): 987-1003.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0010-9452(08)70696-8] [PMID: 17941355]
[62]
El Haj M, Boutoleau-Bretonnière C, Gallouj K. The Past as seen by women and men with alzheimer disease: Sex differences in autobiographical memory. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 2020; 34(2): 170-4.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/WAD.0000000000000363] [PMID: 31913962]


Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

VOLUME: 17
ISSUE: 6
Year: 2020
Page: [508 - 516]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1567205017666200807184942
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 20
HTML: 2