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The use of SenseCam as a pictorial aid to improve autobiographical memory in a limbic encephalitis patient with amnesia: a preliminary report
Berry, E., Williams, L., Wood, K., Kapur, N. & WILSON, B.A.
Brain Impairment, 7(2), 159
Year of publication:
This case study describes the use of a wearable camera, SenseCam, which automatically captures several hundred images per day, to aid autobiographical memory in a patient, Mrs B, with marked amnesia following limbic encephalitis. Mrs B's severe memory impairments led to anxiety and a loss of confidence in social situations. By using SenseCam to record personally experienced events, we hoped that the SenseCam pictures could be used as a pictorial diary to consolidate and cue her autobiographical memories. After a period of time wearing SenseCam, she plugged the camera into a standard PC which downloaded the recorded images and allowed them to be viewed at speed, like watching a movie. In the control condition a written diary was used to verbally record and remind her of autobiographical events. After viewing SenseCam images, Mrs B was, in the majority of cases, able to recall approximately 90% of the event. Retention of events was maintained in the longer term, many months after the event, and without looking at the SenseCam images for 2 months. As a result, Mrs B's subjective levels of anxiety reduced, and her confidence increased. By contrast, after using the written diary, Mrs B was able to remember on average 40% of an event 2 weeks after it occurred. A range of factors may have enabled Mrs B to recall her memories so effectively using SenseCam, and various hypotheses are discussed. The benefits and drawbacks of using SenseCam with brain-injured patients are also considered, as are SenseCam's potential further applications in aiding therapy and rehabilitation.