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Smell your way back to childhood: Autobiographical odor memory.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
2006 (English)In: Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, ISSN 1069-9384, Vol. 13, no 2, 240-244 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study addressed age distributions and experiential qualities of autobiographical memories evoked by different sensory cues. Ninety-three older adults were presented with one of three cue types (i.e., word, picture, or odor) and asked to relate any autobiographical event for the given cue. The main aims were to explore whether: (a) the age distribution of olfactory evoked memories differs from memories cued by words and pictures, and whether (b) the experiential qualities of the evoked memories vary over the different cues. Results showed that autobiographical memories triggered by olfactory information were older than memories associated with verbal and visual information. Specifically, most odor-cued memories were located to the first decade of life (< 10 years), whereas memories associated with verbal and visual cues peaked in early adulthood (11-20 years). Also, odor-evoked memories were associated with stronger feelings of being brought back in time and had been thought of less often as compared with memories evoked by verbal and visual information. This pattern of findings suggests that odor-evoked memories may be different from other memory experiences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 13, no 2, 240-244 p.
Keyword [en]
odor memory, sensory cues, olfactory evoked memories, autobiographical memories
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-19965OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-19965DiVA: diva2:186490
Note

This work was supported by a grant from the Swedish Research Council (No. F0647/2001) to M.L.

Available from: 2007-11-21 Created: 2007-11-21 Last updated: 2016-06-22Bibliographically approved

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