Subjective feeling of re‐experiencing past events using immersive virtual reality prevents a loss of episodic memory

Introduction: Personally meaningful past episodes, defined as episodic memories (EM), are subjectively re-experienced from the natural perspective and location of one's own body, as described by bodily self-consciousness (BSC). Neurobiological mechanisms of memory consolidation suggest how initially irrelevant episodes may be remembered, if related information makes them gain importance later in time, leading for instance, to a retroactive memory strengthening in humans. Methods: Using an immersive virtual reality system, we were able to directly manipulate the presence or absence of one's body, which seems to prevent a loss of initially irrelevant, self-unrelated past events. Results and conclusion: Our findings provide an evidence that personally meaningful memories of our past are not fixed, but may be strengthened by later events, and that body-related integration is important for the successful recall of episodic memories.

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Brain and Behavior
Apr 27 2020
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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 Record created 2020-06-13, last modified 2020-06-16

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