Flash Bulb Memories

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Flashbulb Memory “A flashbulb memory is an unusually vivid memory of an especially emotional or dramatic past event” (Encarta, 2002, flashbulb memories). It is a memory where an individual can remember specific details even if the event occurred many years ago. Flashbulb memories can also be associated with emotional experiences related to ones own life such as the death of a family member or the birth of a child. These memories are created on the basis of internal and external reasoning’s that have been studied and researched throughout the years to help us explain this phenomenon. Another area of interest is the validity of these memories and if they are exact replicates of the actual events. There are internal structures that contribute to the formation of Flashbulb memories such as the amygdala. One of its functions is to control emotions and Schacter states that it releases stress-related hormones that most likely account for some of the extraordinary power and persistence that characterize many highly emotional or traumatic experiences. He indicates that the amygdala works cooperatively with many other brain structures in order to assemble emotional memories. Researchers know certain structuresof the brain that contribute to the formation of flashbulb memories, but no one really understands the whole process. Berrios tried to fill in this gap with his theory in his scholarly article Flashbulb memories and other repetitive images: A psychiatric perspective. He stated that “flashbulb memories could be formed by the activity of an ancient brain mechanism evolved to capture emotional and cognitive information relevant to the survival of the individual or group” (E.Berrios, 1999, pg.115). The severity of the incident that one experiences is also a good indicator in the creation of a flashbulb memory. Encarta states that studies that have shown that
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