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Consistency, Consolidation, and Cognition in Autobiographical Memories: a Flashbulb Memory Approach

Description: Flashbulb memories are highly vivid and long-lasting memories for events that are emotionally significant and personally important. These memories are held in very high confidence in accuracy over an extended period. In particular, individuals believe that they can remember the personal details surrounding the event such as where they were and what they were doing at the time the event occurred. Evidence from research, however, indicates that this may not be the case. The study of flashbulb memories has typically been confined to negative events such as September 11, 2001. In the current study, we employ the methods of Talarico and Rubin (2003) to investigate flashbulb memory formation to a positive event. The event is the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which resonated as a highly positive event for many Americans evidenced by the thousands of people flooding the streets of Washington, D.C. and New York City to celebrate. We examined various memory properties over a one-year period, including vividness, rehearsal, belief in accuracy, and consistency. Results confirm the formation of flashbulb memories to the assassination event, but results did not support many of the proposed hypotheses. Some differences were found for different testing groups (i.e., immediate versus one week delay), but these were not replicated at the one year follow-up. Overall, however, it is believed that the current event, while still a flashbulb memory, was not a strong enough event to stir strong emotions and form memories on par with 9/11.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Kraha, Amanda
Partner: UNT Libraries

Postoperative Neuropsychological Outcomes in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Surgery

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the neuropsychological outcomes of pediatric subjects undergoing temporal lobe surgery, and then compare the outcomes between subjects in the iMRI and the standard operating suites. This study involved 77 children ages one to 21 years (M = 11.98) at time of surgery for intractable epilepsy. Forty-seven returned for repeat neuropsychological assessment. At baseline, subjects with early onset of epilepsy (≤ 7 years) scored worse on a measure of attention (p = .02), FSIQ (p < .01), perceptual reasoning (p < .01), and processing speed (p = .06). At one-year follow-up, interactions were observed for the response style domain of the attention measure (p = .03), FSIQ (p = .06) and working memory (p = .08). Follow-up at one year, for the group as a whole, revealed decline in verbal memory (p = .04) and reading comprehension (p = .02); and improvement for word reading (p = .05). No significant differences were observed between the iMRI and standard operating suite. Though, hemisphere, duration of epilepsy, preoperative seizure frequency, lesional disease, seizure type, presence of epileptogenic focus, and number of lobes involved accounted for variance in neuropsychological outcomes. These results provide further support for that certain preoperative individual, disease, and therapeutic variables are predictive of neurocognitive outcome following surgery for temporal lobe epilepsy. Additionally, the results demonstrated that surgery may also impact attention.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Bailey, Laurie J.
Partner: UNT Libraries