Oscillatory correlates of autobiographical memory

Gennady G. Knyazev, Alexander N. Savostyanov, Andrey V. Bocharov, Elena A. Dorosheva, Sergey S. Tamozhnikov, Alexander E. Saprigyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Recollection of events from one's own life is referred to as autobiographical memory. Autobiographical memory is an important part of our self. Neuroimaging findings link self-referential processes with the default mode network (DMN). Much evidence coming primarily from functional magnetic resonance imaging studies shows that autobiographical memory and DMN have a common neural base. In this study, electroencephalographic data collected in 47 participants during recollection of autobiographical episodes were analyzed using temporal and spatial independent component analyses in combination with source localization. Autobiographical remembering was associated with an increase of spectral power in alpha and beta and a decrease in delta band. The increase of alpha power, as estimated by sLORETA, was most prominent in the posterior DMN, but was also observed in visual and motor cortices, prompting an assumption that it is associated with activation of DMN and inhibition of irrelevant sensory and motor areas. In line with data linking delta oscillations with aversive states, decrease of delta power was more pronounced in episodes associated with positive emotions, whereas episodes associated with negative emotions were accompanied by an increase of delta power. Vividness of recollection correlated positively with theta oscillations. These results highlight the leading role of alpha oscillations and the DMN in the processes accompanying autobiographical remembering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-332
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Alpha oscillations
  • Autobiographical memory
  • Default mode network
  • EEG
  • Independent component analysis
  • Source localization

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