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Revue de neuropsychologie

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The relationships between autobiographical memory and the self in schizophrenia: the dysconnexion hypothesis Volume 6, issue 4, Octobre-Novembre-Décembre 2014

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Authors
Hôpitaux universitaires de Strasbourg,
Université de Strasbourg,
Inserm U1114,
Fédération de médecine translationnelle de Strasbourg, 1 place de l’Hôpital, Clinique psychiatrique, 67091 Strsabourg cedex
France
* Correspondance.

Schizophrenia is a mental illness known to be associated with severe disorders of self. It is also characterized by cognitive impairment, which affects, in particular, executive functions and autobiographical memory. Our research work was based on the theoretical model put forward by Conway (2005), which posits reciprocal relationships between autobiographical memory and the self. Our results led us to the hypothesis of a dysconnexion between the self and autobiographical memories in schizophrenia. This dysconnexion would be the consequence of altered executive processes linked to the self, this affecting the balance between cognitive and affective processes. This dysconnexion may account for a global weakening of the phenomenological characteristics of autobiographical memories, a poorer integration of the memories, which are closely linked to the self, a deficient organization of autobiographical memory and the development and maintenance of persecutory delusions. These results led us to develop several therapeutic interventions, such as cognitive remediation methods aiming to reinforce the subjective experience associated with the recall of past events and psychotherapeutic programs aiming to reinforce the links between past personal events and the self.