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The Proust Effect – The Senses as Doorways to Lost Memories - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Proust Effect: The Senses as Doorways to Lost Memories

Cretien van Campen


The Proust effect refers to the vivid reliving of events from the past through sensory stimuli. Many of us are familiar with those special moments, when you are taken by surprise by a tiny sensory stimulus (e.g. the scent of your mother’s soap) that evokes an intense and emotional memory of an episode from your childhood. Compared to the science of memory deficits, little is known about the physical and sensory pleasures of remembering. Recently, however, practical projects in education in health care, and artistic and scientific investigations have been gradually laying bare the wondrous func ... More

Keywords: senses, memories, arts, sciences, elderly care, art education, well-being, synaesthesia, eidetic perception, empathy, smell, taste, touch, Marcel Proust

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199685875
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685875.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Cretien van Campen, author
writer, researcher, and lecturer at Synesthetics Netherlands, the Netherlands Institute for Social Research, and Windesheim University of Applied Sciences.