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Title: Autobiographical and hippocampus-dependent spatial memory in depression
Author: Sagfors, Line
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 0632
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Depression is associated with deficits in the recollection of specific autobiographical memories, a phenomenon referred to as overgeneral memory. Neither the modifiability nor the neural correlates of overgeneral memory are currently well understood. The aim of this thesis was to increase the understanding of autobiographical memory specificity and overgeneral memory in depression. Part one of the thesis is a literature review investigating whether interventions for treating and preventing depression are effective in improving autobiographical memory specificity. Nineteen studies of varying methodological strength were identified and included in the review. There is evidence that memory specificity improves over the course of treatment for depression, but further research is required to establish the causal effects of different interventions and the effectiveness of prevention strategies. Part two of the thesis presents an empirical study aimed at establishing the association between overgeneral memory and allocentric spatial memory as a measure of hippocampal function in depression. Depressed and non-depressed adults completed measures of autobiographical memory and allocentric spatial memory. The depression group showed impairment in autobiographical memory, but not in allocentric spatial memory, and there was no association between performance on the two memory tasks. The data was collected in the context of a joint project (Williams, 2017). Part three of the thesis is a critical appraisal of the research. It offers reflections on study design and recruitment, benefits of a joint project, exclusion criteria and generalizability, challenges in measuring autobiographical memory, and the role of a clinical researcher in the National Health Service.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available