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Compressed Life Review: Extreme Manifestation of Autobiographical Memory in Eye-Tracker

Authors
  • Nourkova, Veronika V.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Behavioral Sciences
Publisher
MDPI
Publication Date
Feb 26, 2020
Volume
10
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/bs10030060
PMID: 32110854
PMCID: PMC7139868
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The compressed life review (CLR) is a mnemonic illusion of having “your entire life flashing before your eyes”. This research was guided by concerns over the retrospective methodology used in CLR studies. To depart from this methodology, I considered the long-term working memory (WM), “concentric”, and “activation-based” models of memory. A novel theoretically rooted laboratory-based experimental technique aimed to elicit the CLR-like experience with no risk to healthy participants was developed. It consists of listening to superimposed audio recordings of previously trained verbal cues to an individually composed set of self-defining memories (SDMs). The technique evoked a self-reported CLR-like experience in 10 out of 20 participants. A significant similarity in eye movement patterns between a single SDM condition and a choir of SDM conditions in self-reported CLR experiencers was confirmed. In both conditions, stimuli caused relative visual immobilization, in contrast to listening to a single neutral phrase, and a choir of neutral phrases that led to active visual exploration. The data suggest that CLR-like phenomenology may be successfully induced by triggering short-term access to the verbally cued SDMs and may be associated with specific patterns of visual activity that are not reportedly involved with deliberate autobiographical retrieval.

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