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6The Contributions of Autobiographical Memory to the

Summary: 71
6The Contributions of
Autobiographical Memory to the
Content and Continuity of Identity
A Social-Cognitive
Neuroscience Approach
DonnA Rose ADDIs AnD LyneTTe J. TIppeTT
We are what we remember. (Wilson & Ross, 2003, p. 137)
t has long been thought that accessing, remembering, and reflecting on per-
sonal memories are key to forming a coherent sense of identity1 and personal
continuity (e.g., Locke, 1694/1970). As such, autobiographical memory (AM)
makes a critical contribution to content and continuity of identity. The complexi-
ties of the relation between AM and identity, however, are far from understood.
With the advent of social cognitive neuroscience, there has been an upsurge of
research employing neuropsychological and neuroimaging methodologies. neuro-
psychological approaches enable examination of the effects of AM loss on identity
and have enabled examination of the contributions of different aspects of AM to
identity. Typically, AM is broken down into personal semantic and personal epi-
sodic components, with the former consisting of facts about oneself and one's life


Source: Addis, Donna Rose - Department of Psychology, University of Auckland


Collections: Biology and Medicine