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The retrieval of episodic memories in Parkinson's disease : the role of emotion and subjective memory status

Ohlsson, Matilda


Matilda Ohlsson


Miles Rogish

Tim (Clinical psychologist) Alexander


The portfolio thesis has three parts. Part one and two are conceptually linked through their focus on emotional memory in individuals over 60 years of age and in particular on potential memory enhancements for positive material.

Part one comprises a systematic literature review on the positivity effect in older adults’ autobiographical memory. It has been proposed that this effect, which is commonly observed in experimental memory paradigms, should also be observed in personally relevant memories. As such, the review asks the question of whether positivity effects extend to older adults’ autobiographical memory. Specifically, it evaluates if older adults are more likely than younger adults to recall positive autobiographical memories. Furthermore, the review examines which mechanism may underlie any such potential group differences. In particular, it is investigated whether the positivity effect in autobiographical memory arises as a result of (a) older adults recalling a greater number of positive memories than younger adults or (b) older adults appraising retrieved memories more positively than younger adults.

Part two is an empirical paper. This study investigates the influence of emotion on both episodic memory and subjective memory states in older adults with and without Parkinson’s disease. In particular, the study is interested in the phenomenon of emotional memory enhancements as there are reasons to predict that Parkinson’s disease may alter the normative way in which emotion influences memory. The study had two primary aims. First, it evaluated if older adults with Parkinson’s disease and healthy older adults differ in the level to which emotion enhances memory. Second, it investigated whether the two groups differ in how emotion influences two subjective memory states known as recollection and familiarity.

Part three comprises the appendices.


Ohlsson, M. (2015). The retrieval of episodic memories in Parkinson's disease : the role of emotion and subjective memory status. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Dec 21, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Clinical psychology
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Psychological Health and Wellbeing, The University of Hull
Award Date Jun 1, 2015


Thesis (1.4 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2015 Ohlsson, Matilda. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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