Autobiographical Memory: Influence of Right Hemisphere Damage on Emotionality and Specificity

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Right hemisphere damaged patients, Emotionality, Autobiographical memory

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This study investigated the ability of right hemisphere damaged (RHD) patients to recall autobiographical material in response to emotional versus nonemotional cues. A modified Crovitz paradigm was used in which patients were asked to recall a specific episode from their own life that related to a cue word. These episodes were rated for emotionality and specificity by independent raters. Patients also rated the emotionality of their own episodes. Independent raters judged the reports of the RHD patients as less specific and less emotional than those of matched nonneurologic control subjects. This was true for episodes in response to emotional as well as nonemotional cue words. RHD patients' own ratings of these episodes, however, did not differ from those of controls. These findings are discussed in terms of RHD patients' overall difficulties in processing emotional material and in terms of the nature of autobiographical memory.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Brain and Cognition, v. 15, issue 1, p. 106-118