WHAT IS THE ROLE OF AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORY ON IDENTITY AND PATIENTS WITH ALZHEIMER’S?

Introduction 

Our aim in writing this article is that we wonder about the relationship between A.M and self and believe that there is a relationship between it and want to support it with Alzheimer’s disease. Thanks to this review, we thought we could inspire future work. Autobiographic memory has an important place for the human memory mechanism. It is suggested that autobiographic memory is effective in the combination of past and present memories and affects the sense of identity. In addition, in people with early-stage dementia, Naylor conducted a study believing that there was a relationship between identity and awareness. He studied the study based on three different periods in individuals: childhood, early adulthood, close living. As a result of the study, I came to the conclusion that there is a connection between sense of personality, awareness and A.M On the other hand, neuropsychological ideas indicate that autobiographical memory is made up of two components: personal event memory and personal semantic memory. In this regard, a study was conducted with people in the 66-90 age group who are Alzheimer’s and who are healthy. As a result of the research, we see that the deterioration in autobiographical memory has a significant effect on identity. On the other hand, Ross mentions in his studies that reconstruction of memories can also preserve the existing identity and thus concludes that individuals can overcome traumas. Finally, in the gender identity and autobiographical memory study by A.Grysman and R.Fivush, women’s memories have been revealed to be more emotional and detailed memories than men, and the reason is that women can show their emotional responses more clearly because they are so accepted by society. it is disclosed. 

Autobiographical Memory and identity relationship 

Ross (1989) studied how people reconstruct quality and emotions in their old memories. He suggested that this process consists of two parts. Since they can reach their current self-quality and emotions more effortlessly than their previous memories, people said, “How do I feel about Q these days?” Then individuals call implicit theories about the sustainability of their own quality and emotions to create a near or different past moment. Ross (1989) examined different studies on this topic. To give an example to this; Because they assume that individuals’ attitudes are sustainable and do not change, they think they are the same as their current views (sometimes wrong). Conway and Ross (1984) followed the participants in the skill program in their study. Participants generally think that these programs are useful. But in this experiment, researchers designed this program as a useless course like most programs. Participants were asked about their skills before starting the course and asked again after the course. As might be expected, the participants said that they were worse before the course and that they were better after the course. Although the control group did not take this course, it showed systematic recall bias. On the other hand, it has been seen that people who remember retrospectively can remember themselves better than they did in the past (eg McFarland, Ross and Giltrow, 1992). Reconstructing memories can preserve the current identity (Wilson & Ross, 2003) 

Addis is argued that autobiographical memory supports individuals’ narratives and the qualities of their personal information, plays a role in the fusion of past and present ties and affects identity stability. It is stated that the loss of autobiographical memory may affect the sense of identity due to this view. Neuropsychological ideas state that the autobiographical memory consists of two components; personal incident memory is personal semantic memory. Personal incident memory contains detailed contextual information such as time and place, while personal semantic memory contains information such as which school we went to, the names of our friends from school. In a study on this subject, a study is conducted with 20 patients between the ages of 66 and 90 with Alzheimer’s disease and healthy people. These people received two different tests. In the first test, AM interview and the twenty statements test were applied in the other. By using Twenty test, it was provided to measure the identity power, quality and complexity of the participants. Importantly, it was thanks to these that the loss of autobiographical memories that occurred in early adulthood could cause a measurable change on parts of identity. In some cases, it can be caused by the strength and quality of autobiographical memory and identity in early childhood as a cause of deterioration in autobiographical memory. This research shows that the deterioration in the autobiographical memory in the developmental stage has a critical importance for the effect on the person’s identity (Addis, & Tippett, 2004). 

Autobiographical Memory and perceptual recollection 

Autobiographical memory, which forms the building blocks of the declarative self, has a unique importance for the human memory mechanism. Autobiographical parts have an individual semantic pattern. It first refers to the re-enactment of its journey through the mental process: it contains valuable concrete and specific individual information items by phenomenological details that are closely linked to a particular time interval and unique phenomena found in a space (Tulving, 1985). Another thing is that these memories do not need a repetitive experience, they contain personal facts and individual information, including re-events, including individualized extended events. Some studies show that in normal aging people and people with alzhemier (AD), a transition from private to more general AM recovery, ie from autobiography to individual semantics, has been observed. (Martinelli, Anssens, Sperduti & Piolino, 2013). 

Naylor (2008) thought that the sense of identity might have a strong connection with autobiographical memories. In people with early-stage dementia, AM conducted a study showing that there may be a relationship between identity and awareness. In the study conducted with the participants, whose ages were selected between 64 and 91, 6 of whom were male and 24 of which were female, it was found that some changes in the sense of self in the early dementia stage may occur. It is a matter of discussion how and in what way to get the continuity of the person’s sense of continuity in their own memories and how much they can incorporate it into their own personality. Based on all this, it is predicted that people with stronger AM performance may have a stronger level of awareness and sense of identity. Naylor (2008) AM studied in three terms; childhood, early adulthood and close living. The research result shows that memory functioning awareness has a tight connection with personality sense and AM (Naylor & Clare, 2008). 

Autobiographical Memory and gender differences 

Creating a consistent sense of self in a given time interval is of great importance for autobiographical recall. Autobiographical recall creates the feeling of re-experiencing, which takes into account the bond of the individual past with the present and in detail, emotionally taking into account its phenomenological experience, and can make predicting and planning easier. In various studies and methods according to Grossman and Hudson, the autobiographical memories of women are mostly more emotional and more detailed than men. Contexts that lead to gender differences emphasize gender as a critical component of this, as local linkages and critical developmental changes can be demonstrated. In a study by A. Grysman and R. Fivush with 196 participants between the ages of 18 and 40, each was rated 4 moment phenomenology. The results showed that the MQE scores of women were more consistent. This has been shown to predict better memory quality and valence due to the greater acceptance of feminine gender norms (Grysman & Fivush, 2016). 

It has been determined by studies that there is a positive relationship between A.M and self. Besides, there is a relationship between A.M identity and awareness. More detailed research should be conducted on the distinction of identity over gender. In some studies, it shows that a more general A.M recovery, namely autobiography to individual semantics, is observed in normal aging people and people with alzhimeric disease. Finally, we think that our investigation will inspire future studies and more detailed studies in these areas will be in the future. 

Hüseyin Şahin-Kevser Kurtsatar

REFERENCES 

Conway, M.& Ross, M. (1984). Gelling what you want by revising what you had. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47. 738-748) 

Grysman, A., & Fivush, R. (2016). Gender identity predicts autobiographical memory phenomenology. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30(4), 613-621. 

Martinelli, P., Anssens, A., Sperduti, M., & Piolino, P. (2013). The influence of normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease in autobiographical memory highly related to the self. Neuropsychology, 27(1), 69. 

McFarland, C, Ross, M., & Giltrow, M. (1992). Biased recollections in older adlults: The role of implicit theories of aging. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 837-850. 

Naylor, E., & Clare, L. (2008). Awareness of memory functioning, autobiographical memory and identity in early-stage dementia. Neuropsychological rehabilitation, 18(5-6), 590-606. 

Rose Addis, D., & Tippett, L. (2004). Memory of myself: Autobiographical memory and identity in Alzheimer’s disease. Memory, 12(1), 56-74. 

Ross, M. (1989). The relation of implicit theories to the construction of personal histories. Psychological Review, 96, 341-357 

Tulving, E. (1985). How many memory systems are there. American Psychologist, 40, 385–398. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.40.4.385 

Wilson, A., & Ross, M. (2003). The identity function of autobiographical memory: Time is on our side. Memory, 11(2), 137-149. 

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