Flashbulb Memory and The Reminiscence Bump
Flashbulb memory occurs when a very vivid memory of a traumatic, emotional, or significant event is recalled. Researchers typically use public events such as the John F. Kennedy assassination and 9/11 as cues when studying flashbulb memories. Participants are asked to recall very specific information such as where they were, how they felt, and what they were doing when the event was taking place. Memories of these events are easily recalled and the individual believes their account of the event to be perfectly accurate.
These memories have been tested in different ways, including measuring the ability to recall details of the event and the impact of additional cues on the recall of the event. Denver, Lane and Cherry found that flashbulb memories that took place in the reminiscence bump were exceptionally vivid and easily accessible. It is suggested that the flashbulb memories encoded during the reminiscence bump are so vivid because the events happened during a time of identity formation and peak brain function. Additionally, these events are recalled well because they undergo more rehearsal due to their serious nature and frequent discussion.
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