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Open AccessArticle

Emotional and Phenomenological Properties of Odor-Evoked Autobiographical Memories in Alzheimer’s Disease

1
University of Lille, CNRS, CHU Lille, UMR 9193 SCALab-Sciences Cognitives et Sciences Affectives, F-59000 Lille, France
2
Laboratoire de Psychologie des Pays de la Loire (EA 4638), Université de Nantes, F-44000 Nantes, France
3
Unité de Gériatrie, Centre Hospitalier de Tourcoing, F-59200 Tourcoing, France
4
Institut Universitaire de France, F-75000 Paris, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(6), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9060135
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Olfaction as a Marker for Psychiatric and Neurological Diseases)
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Abstract

Autobiographical memory, which contains all personal memories relative to our identity, has been found to be impaired in Alzheimer’ Disease (AD). Recent research has demonstrated that odor may serve as a powerful cue for the recovery of autobiographical memories in AD. Building on this research, we investigated emotional characteristics (arousal and valence) and subjective reliving of odor-evoked autobiographical memories in AD. We also investigated the relationship between these characteristics and depression. To this end, we invited participants with mild AD and controls to retrieve autobiographical memories after odor exposure or without odor. Results showed higher arousal, subjective reliving and more positive memories after odor exposure compared with the odor-free condition, these differences being observed only in AD participants. We also found that emotion (arousal and valence) and subjective reliving triggered by odor were associated with depressive symptoms in AD. These findings demonstrate that odor may be a useful cue to trigger more detailed, vivid and positive events in AD. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; autobiographical memory; depression; emotion; olfaction; subjective reliving Alzheimer’s disease; autobiographical memory; depression; emotion; olfaction; subjective reliving
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Glachet, O.; El Haj, M. Emotional and Phenomenological Properties of Odor-Evoked Autobiographical Memories in Alzheimer’s Disease. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 135.

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