Flashbulb Memories the 'Flashbulb' Memory Thesis
Excerpt from Thesis :
It is also in society that they recall, recognize and localize their memories." (Halbwachs, 1992, p. 38, as cited in Olick, nd)
III. New Study on Flashbulb Memories
The work of Roger Highfield (2006) entitled: "9/11 Study Reveals How Flashbulb Memories Form" states that a study conducted among individuals in New York who witnessed the events of September 11, 2001, "has revealed a brain region that may be responsible for creating what psychologists call 'flashbulb memories', remarkable picture-like collections." The findings in this study indicate that "flashbulb memories arise when a person witnesses events first hard, not from any special neural process."(Highfield, 2006) According to Highfield the results of the study which was reported "in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate personal involvement may be important in engaging the amygdale when recalling 9/11 events." (2006) The amygdale is "a small, almond-shaped brain structure known to mediate emotion's influence on memory." (Highfield, 2006)
Summary and Conclusion
It is quite easy to understand how highly charged emotional moments of significance are held in the memory of the individual or the collective group because of the adrenaline charge the body receives when recording these memories and because of the general shock to the human physiological system which occurs simultaneous to the cognitive processing of these events. While public 'flashbulb' memories are discussed many times over generally leading to a 'collective recall' that...
...The flashbulb memory is a very defining moment in the life of the individual as well as in the collective social and cultural mind and perhaps as stated by Weaver (nd) there does not need to be a special mechanism identified because the special mechanism has already been identified as the special process which has assigned significance to the event for those who remember and recall this highly memorable and very defining 'flashbulb' moment.
Cook, Jason and Wilson, David (nd) Flashbulb Memories. Online available at: www.ualberta.ca/~nrbrown/pubs/LeeBrown2003.pdf
Flashbulb Memory (2008) Memory Loss & the Brain. Winter 2008. Online available at: http://www.memorylossonline.com/glossary/flashbulbmemory.html
Highfield, Roger (2006) 9/11 Study Reveals How Flashbulb Memories Form. Telegraph.co.uk 21 Dec 2006. Online available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/science/sciencenews/3350048/911-Study-Reveals-How-Flashbulb-Memories-Form.html
Olick, (unknown) (nd) Olick Articles. Virginia State University. Collective Memory. Online available at: http://www.virginia.edu/sociology/publications/faculty%20articles/OlickArticles/galecm.pdf
Weaver, Charles A. III (nd) Do You Need a 'Flash' to Form a Flashbulb Memory. Online available at: www.ualberta.ca/~nrbrown/pubs/LeeBrown2003.pdf
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