The me in memory: the role of the self in autobiographical memory development

Josephine Ross*, Jacqui Hutchison, Sheila J. Cunningham

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)
    728 Downloads (Pure)


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e299-e314
    Number of pages16
    JournalChild Development
    Issue number2
    Early online date15 Jan 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2020


    • Autobiographical memory
    • Self memory system
    • Childhood amnesia


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