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Conscious Cogn. 2008 Dec;17(4):1386-97. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2008.09.001. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

When the "I" looks at the "Me": autobiographical memory, visual perspective, and the self.

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  • 1NIH Biomedical Research Center, National Institute on Aging, NIH, DHHS, 251 Bayview Boulevard, Suite 100 Room # 4B325, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


This article presents a theoretical model of the self processes involved in autobiographical memories and proposes competing hypotheses for the role of visual perspective in autobiographical memory retrieval. Autobiographical memories can be retrieved from either the 1st person perspective, in which individuals see the event through their own eyes, or from the 3rd person perspective, in which individuals see themselves and the event from the perspective of an external observer. A growing body of research suggests that the visual perspective from which a memory is retrieved has important implications for a person's thoughts, feelings, and goals, and is integrally related to a host of self-evaluative processes. We review the relevant research literature, present our theoretical model, and outline directions for future research.

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