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Autobiographical Memories and PTSD

  • Elizabeth S. Lapidow
  • Adam D. BrownEmail author
Reference work entry

Abstract

PTSD has long been associated with alterations in autobiographical memory. In addition to those memory-related symptoms of PTSD found in the diagnostic criteria, such as intrusive memories and flashbacks, researchers have found that individuals with PTSD tend to have difficulty recalling specific moments from their past, a phenomenon referred to as overgeneralized autobiographical memory. Since the original findings were presented two and half decades ago, there now exists a considerable body of work examining the mechanisms underlying overgeneralization. This chapter summarizes the findings on overgeneral memory to date, including the paradigms employed to study this phenomenon, as well as the theories, research outcomes, and implications for vulnerability to and recovery from traumatic stress.

Keywords

Posttraumatic stress disorder Autobiographical memory Overgeneralized autobiographical memory Future thinking Cognition 

List of Abbreviations

AMT

Autobiographical Memory Test

ASD

Acute Stress Disorder

MEST

Memory Specificity Training

OGAM

Overgeneralized Autobiographical Memory

PTSD

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

SMS

Self-Memory-System

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Molecular and Behavioral NeuroscienceRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySarah Lawrence CollegeBronxvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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