23. The Co-Emergence of the Self and Autobiographical Memory: An Adaptive View of Early Memory

  1. Patricia J. Bauer2 and
  2. Robyn Fivush3
  1. Mark L. Howe

Published Online: 30 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118597705.ch23

The Wiley Handbook on the Development of Children's Memory, Volume I/II

The Wiley Handbook on the Development of Children's Memory, Volume I/II

How to Cite

Howe, M. L. (2013) The Co-Emergence of the Self and Autobiographical Memory: An Adaptive View of Early Memory, in The Wiley Handbook on the Development of Children's Memory, Volume I/II (eds P. J. Bauer and R. Fivush), John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118597705.ch23

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Emory University

  2. 3

    Emory University

Author Information

  1. City University London

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 7 OCT 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119993995

Online ISBN: 9781118597705

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Keywords:

  • adaptive memory;
  • autobiographical memory;
  • infantile amnesia;
  • self-consciousness

Summary

This chapter begins with a brief digression into the evolution of memory and its importance to adaptation of human and nonhuman animals alike. Next, it outlines new empirical work that documents that the emergence of self-consciousness corresponds with the time at which our earliest childhood memories can be retained into later childhood and adulthood. Following this, the chapter reviews some new research that examines the nature of infantile amnesia in children's recollection of their early life experiences. It then discusses the nature of those memories and whether such memories are necessarily purely episodic or can also contain decontextualized semantic components. Finally, the chapter integrates these findings and speculations into a single, adaptive view of the co-emergence of self-consciousness and autobiographical memory.