Remember Me: The Role of Self-as-Subject in Episodic Memory

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Abstract: Episodic memory can be distinguished from other kinds of memory by the unique manner in which it is experienced. Proponents of episodic memory often mention its self-specifying nature. That is, when I “re-live” a past event, it is always remembered from my standpoint, in other words, as personally-witnessed. Until recently, however, little attention has been paid to this aspect of episodic memory. After a brief review of existing work on the self-specifying aspects of episodic memory, I advance the view that episodic memory is dependent upon the fundamental sense of self, namely, self as the subject of one’s experiences (self-as-subject). I also outline some strategies for testing this claim empirically.

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