The mind’s nose and autobiographical odor memory
2008 (English)In: Chemosensory Perception, ISSN 1936-5802, Vol. 1, no 3, 210-215 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This study investigated the potential impact of odor imagery on the retrieval of autobiographical events. Specifically, the main aims were to examine the influence of imagined odor cues on (a) the age distribution of autobiographical memories and (b) the experiential qualities of the retrieved events. Sixty-four older adults were randomized into one of two cue conditions (word or odor imagery) and were asked to relate any autobiographical event for the given cue. The results indicated that events evoked by odor imagery were older than memories associated with words. Specifically, most memories evoked by olfactory imagery originated from the first decade of life (<10 years), whereas word-evoked memories peaked in young adulthood (11–20 years). Also, memories evoked by odor imagery entailed higher proportions of sensory experiences as compared to the word-cue condition. However, other phenomenological qualities of the retrieved events did not differ between the two conditions. Overall, this pattern of findings suggests that olfactory imagery influences temporal but not experiential qualities of retrieved autobiographical memory information.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 1, no 3, 210-215 p.
Autobiographical Memory, Episodic Memory, Imagery, Olfaction, Retrieval, Odor Imagery, Emotion, Reminiscence Bump
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24553DOI: 10.1007/s12078-008-9026-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-24553DiVA: diva2:197779