Autobiographical Memory

Prof. Dr. Hans J. Markowitsch, Universität Bielefeld
Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer, Center for Interdisciplinary Memory Research, KWI Essen

The project „Autobiographical Memory in Interdisciplinary Perspective” granted by the VolkswagenFoundation from 2001 till 2005 linked natural- and social sciences to examine the human memory and brain development from its required interdisciplinary prospect.

The research team led by Prof. Dr. Hans J. Markowitsch (Bielefeld University) and Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer (Center for Interdisciplinary Memory Research, Essen) succeeded in designing a unique bio-psycho-social development model of autobiographical memory, to represent not only the processes of brain development and the emerging skills of remembering but also its age-specific potential interactions. By combining various research methods, it could be shown, that and how humans tell and evaluate their biographies and memories perpetually, due to an interplay of biological and social factors. These shifts are reflected at the neuronal level as well.
The extensive studies of the project give an update on the development of human memory and show how different the autobiographical memory works - depending on the phase of life, emotional and culture-specific dimensions - and how those are intertwined with the human personality and the conscious self.