This paper tests the hypothesis that self development plays a role in the offset of childhood amnesia; assessing the importance of both the capacity to anchor a memory to the self-concept, and the strength of the self-concept as an anchor. We demonstrate for the first time that the volume of 3- to 6-year-old’s specific autobiographical memories is predicted by both the volume of their self-knowledge, and their capacity for self-source monitoring within self-referencing paradigms (N =186). Moreover, there is a bidirectional relationship between self and memory, such that autobiographical memory mediates the link between self-source monitoring and self-knowledge. These predictive relationships suggests that the self memory system is active in early childhood.
Ross, J., Hutchison, J., & Cunningham, S. J. (2020). The me in memory: the role of the self in autobiographical memory development. Child Development, 91(2), e299-e314. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13211