Autobiographical memory and hyperassociativity in the dreaming brain: implications for memory consolidation in sleep

Article


Horton, Caroline L. and Malinowski, J. 2015. Autobiographical memory and hyperassociativity in the dreaming brain: implications for memory consolidation in sleep. Frontiers in Psychology. 6, p. Art. 874.
AuthorsHorton, Caroline L. and Malinowski, J.
Abstract

In this paper we argue that autobiographical memory (AM) activity across sleep and wake can provide insight into the nature of dreaming, and vice versa. Activated memories within the sleeping brain reflect one’s personal life history (autobiography). They can appear in largely fragmentary forms and differ from conventional manifestations of episodic memory. Autobiographical memories in dreams can be sampled from non-REM as well as REM periods, which contain fewer episodic references and become more bizarre across the night. Salient fragmented memory features are activated in sleep and re-bound with fragments not necessarily emerging from the same memory, thus de-contextualizing those memories and manifesting as experiences that differ from waking conceptions. The constructive nature of autobiographical recall further encourages synthesis of these hyper-associated images into an episode via recalling and reporting dreams. We use a model of AM to account for the activation of memories in dreams as a reflection of sleep-dependent memory consolidation processes. We focus in particular on the hyperassociative nature of AM during sleep.

JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Journal citation6, p. Art. 874
ISSN1664-1078
Year2015
PublisherFrontiers Media
Publisher's version
License
CC BY
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00874
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00874
Publication dates
Print02 Jul 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited03 Jul 2017
Accepted13 Jun 2015
Copyright information© 2015
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/8557v

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