Memory sources of dreams: The incorporation of autobiographical rather than episodic experiences.

Malinowski, J.E. and Horton, C. (2014) Memory sources of dreams: The incorporation of autobiographical rather than episodic experiences. Journal of Sleep Research, 23 (4). pp. 441-447. ISSN 1365-2869

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The present study aimed to explore autobiographical memories (long-lasting memories about the self) and episodic memories (memories about discrete episodes or events) within dream content. We adapted earlier episodic memory study paradigms and reinvestigated the incorporation of episodic memory sources into dreams, operationalizing episodic memory as featuring autonoetic consciousness, which is the feeling of truly re-experiencing or reliving a past event. Participants (n = 32) recorded daily diaries and dream diaries, and reported on wake-dream relations for 2 weeks. Using a new scale, dreams were rated for their episodic richness, which categorized memory sources of dreams as being truly episodic (featuring autonoetic consciousness), autobiographical (containing segregated features of experiences that pertained to waking life) or otherwise. Only one dream (0.5%) was found to contain an episodic memory. However, the majority of dreams (>80%) were found to contain low to moderate incorporations of autobiographical memory features. These findings demonstrate the inactivity of intact episodic memories, and emphasize the activity of autobiographical memory and processing within dreams. Taken together, this suggests that memories for personal experiences are experienced fragmentarily and selectively during dreaming, perhaps in order to assimilate these memories into the autobiographical memory schema.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014 Wiley. This is an author accepted manuscript of a paper subsequently published in Journal of Sleep Research. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy
Keywords: continuity hypothesis, declarative memory, dreaming, memory incorporation, memory structure, sleep mentation
Divisions: School of Social Science
Depositing User: Dr Caroline Horton
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 13:11
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019 14:20

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