Neuropsychology Review

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 157–168

Autobiographical Memory, Self, and Stress-Related Psychiatric Disorders: Which Implications in Cancer Patients?

  • Bénédicte Giffard
  • Armelle Viard
  • Jacques Dayan
  • Nastassja Morel
  • Florence Joly
  • Francis Eustache
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s11065-013-9233-6

Cite this article as:
Giffard, B., Viard, A., Dayan, J. et al. Neuropsychol Rev (2013) 23: 157. doi:10.1007/s11065-013-9233-6

Abstract

Autobiographical memory refers to information and memories of personal life events, accumulated since childhood, which enable the construction of a feeling of identity and continuity. Autobiographical memory retrieval is a dynamic and reconstructive process, as mental representations change with the passage of time. This flexible aspect of memory is linked to one’s changing self and aspirations over time, that evolve according to our personal status and environment. Hence, any breakdown in the continuity of life involves a distortion of memory. Such distortions can be observed in stress-related psychiatric disorders, such as major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, where autobiographical memory retrieval is characterized by overgenerality (i.e., the tendency to recall generic memories rather than specific events in response to cue words). Such memory disorders can be observed at different degrees in cancer patients. We will report studies focusing on the above-mentioned psychiatric disorders and cancer, and will attempt to establish a relation with autobiographical memory disturbances. The better understanding of such memory deficits could permit new pathophysiological hypotheses to emerge. Recommendations for future research that will enhance understanding of the factors that contribute to autobiographical memory in cancer are suggested.

Keywords

Autobiographical memorySelfCancerDepressionPost-traumatic stress disorder

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bénédicte Giffard
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 9
  • Armelle Viard
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jacques Dayan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Nastassja Morel
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Florence Joly
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  • Francis Eustache
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.INSERM, U1077CaenFrance
  2. 2.Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, UMR-S1077CaenFrance
  3. 3.Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, UMR-S1077CaenFrance
  4. 4.CHU de Caen, U1077CaenFrance
  5. 5.Service de Psychiatrie de l’Enfant et de l’AdolescentRennesFrance
  6. 6.Département d’Oncologie Médicale, Centre François BaclesseCaenFrance
  7. 7.CHU de Caen, U1086CaenFrance
  8. 8.INSERM, U1086, Cancers and PreventionsCaenFrance
  9. 9.Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, Esplanade de la Paix, U.F.R. de PsychologieCaen CedexFrance