Presentation Abstract

Program#/Poster#: 603.04/TT12
Presentation Title: Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM): An investigation of the behavioral and neuroanatomical components
Location: Hall A-C
Presentation time: Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011, 11:00 AM -12:00 PM
Neurobio. and Behavior, Univ. of California Irvine, Irvine, CA
Abstract: The study of memory operating at a superior level stands to enrich our understanding of its’ dynamic nature. There are few investigations on superior memory leaving much to be explored about the neuropsychological functions underlying long-lasting vivid memories. A.J. is the first of twenty participants to characterize the phenomenon HSAM. She exhibits the ability to accurately recall vast amounts of autobiographical information spanning her lifetime, without the use of practiced mnemonics (Parker et al., 2006). The characteristics of the seemingly indelible nature of this populations’ memory has been assessed by a comprehensive behavioral and neuroanotomical investigation. A cognitive battery, including both autobiographical as well as non-autobiographical memory tests, has been administered to compare behavioral differences between the HSAM population and controls, matched by age and sex. Results indicate that HSAMs perform significantly better at recalling personal autobiographical as well as public events and the days and dates these events occurred. However, they perform at an indistinguishable level on most short term, non-autobiographical laboratory memory tests. To explore the substrates supporting this ability we conducted a whole-brain morphological analysis comparing structural differences between the HSAM population and their controls. Neuroanotomoical results indicate the left temporoparietal junction and left posterior insula, areas that appear to correspond with autobiographical memory, as being significantly larger. The insights into memory formation and retrieval afforded by this study could contribute to our understanding of the brain and how it supports autobiographical memory.
Disclosures:  A.K. Leport: None. H. Anson: None. C. Stark: None. J. McGaugh: None. L. Cahill: None.
Keyword(s): MEMORY
[Authors]. [Abstract Title]. Program No. XXX.XX. 2011 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Washington, DC: Society for Neuroscience, 2011. Online.

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