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Left lateralization in autobiographical memory: An fMRI study using the expert archival paradigm

Campitelli, G., Parker, A., Head, K. and Gobet, F. (2008) Left lateralization in autobiographical memory: An fMRI study using the expert archival paradigm. International Journal of Neuroscience, 118 (2). pp. 191-209.

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In brain-imaging and behavioral research, studies of autobiographical memory have higher ecological validity than controlled laboratory memory studies. However, they also have less controllability over the variables investigated. This article presents a novel technique—the expert archival paradigm—that increases controllability while maintaining ecological validity. Stimuli were created from games played by two international-level chess masters. The two players were asked to perform a memory task with stimuli generated from their own games and stimuli generated from other players’ games while they were scanned using fMRI. The study found a left lateralized pattern of brain activity that was very similar in both masters. The brain areas activated were the left temporo-parietal junction and left frontal areas. The expert archival paradigm has the advantage of not requiring an interview to assess the participants’ autobiographical memories, and affords the possibility of measuring their accuracy of remembering as well as their brain activity related to remote and recent memories. It can also be used in any field of expertise, including arts, sciences, and sports, in which archival data are available.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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