Remembering autobiographical memories of personal past experiences is very common during our daily life. When remembering these memories, the lack of contextual specificity (where and when the event happened) because of an exacerbated self-absorption by overwhelming feelings may lead to increased emotional distress. In contrast, increasing specificity by promoting a focus on contextual aspects instead of emotional aspects and adopting a self-distanced, third-person perspective while remembering may decrease subjective emotional experience. Emerging evidence suggests that mindfulness-based interventions can have a beneficial impact on the way we remember personal past experiences. Yet, examination of the underlying neural underpinnings is in its infancy. One preliminary step to achieve this involves designing neuroimaging protocols that allow for the exploration of brain states and subjective experience during remembering varying on both specificity and perspective taking. As such, the goal of the current study is to vary autobiographical remembering along two key dimensions: level of specificity (overgeneral vs. specific) and perspective taking (first-person vs. third-person) and to use a novel neuroimaging analyses approach to capture brain states as they emerge as well as verbalized subjective reports of experience. This study can shed light on the mechanisms by which people can effectively cope with emotional memories.

Ekaterina Denkova, PhD

University of Miami


Ekaterina Denkova is Research Assistant Professor in the laboratory of Dr. Amishi Jha at the University of Miami. Ekaterina received her Ph.D. from the University of Strasbourg, where she examined the … MORE