The self-imagination effect: Benefits of a self-referential encoding strategy on cued recall in memory-impaired individuals with neurological damage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Knowledge of oneself is preserved in many memory-impaired individuals with neurological damage. Therefore, cognitive strategies that capitalize on mechanisms related to the self may be particularly effective at enhancing memory in this population. The present study investigated the effect of "self-imagining," imagining an event from a personal perspective, on short and long delayed cued recall in memory-impaired individuals with neurological damage. Sixteen patients intentionally encoded word pairs under four separate conditions: visual imagery, semantic elaboration, other person imagining, and self-imagining. The results revealed that self-imagining led to better performance than other-imagining, semantic elaboration, and visual imagery. Furthermore, the "self-imagination effect" (SIE) was preserved after a 30-min delay and was independent of memory functioning. These findings indicate that self-imagining provides a mnemonic advantage in brain-injured individuals, even those with relatively poor memory functioning, and suggest that self-imagining may tap into mnemonic mechanisms related to the self.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-933
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Keywords

  • Brain injury
  • Episodic memory
  • Imagination
  • Memory disorders
  • Memory rehabilitation
  • Self

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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