It is well known that autobiographical memory changes as we age, and dramatically so in the case of dementia. Age-related changes in autobiographical memory have been studied from a multitude of perspectives, including neuropsychological, social, lifespan developmental, cultural and clinical perspectives. This research has identified a number of interesting phenomena, but often with little communication between the different fields. For example, there is a long-standing debate in neuropsychology as to whether retrograde amnesia in dementia spares older memories of autobiographical events. This literature has been little integrated with the literature on the reminiscence bump (a preponderance of memories from adolescence and young adulthood in healthy older adults) identified in life span developmental research on memory such as research on the cultural life script. Another important topic of research is life story and identity in people with dementia compared with healthy older adults. How can we use life review and reminiscence activities to facilitate autobiographical recollection in people with dementia, and to what extent do such activities improve well-being and cognitive functioning? In addition to their theoretical relevance, many of these questions have important practical implications.
We believe there is a need to bring together researchers with different backgrounds and explore a variety of perspectives on these issues in order to bridge some of the gaps in the literature and increase communication between fields. To this end, we are organizing the conference, Autobiographical Memory in Ageing and Dementia, to be held in Aarhus, Denmark in 2022, September 27-28, hosted by the Center on Autobiographical Memory Research.
The conference will be structured around a series of invited talks, representing core themes of the conference and delivered by outstanding experts in their fields (see list of speakers). We invite all scholars to submit abstract for poster presentations related to the conference theme (see call for poster abstracts). Poster sessions will be in the prime time of the conference with no parallel sessions.
Note: We also welcome abstracts for posters that are more peripherally related to the overall theme, for example by addressing aspects of autobiographical memory of mere theoretical relevance for the overall theme.
Photo: David C. Rubin