Committee ChairRyan, Lee
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractRecent functional neuroimaging evidence suggests that recalling autobiographical memories, imagining fictitious autobiographical episodes, and taking the perspective of another person activate a similar network of brain regions. Results from the two studies presented here provide further evidence of this common neural network. Previous evidence also suggests that recalling autobiographical memories from a first person or from a third person perspective can influence the way in which those memories are experienced as well as the brain regions that are engaged; however, the effect of perspective on imagining autobiographical events remains unclear. Results from Study 1 indicated that brain regions implicated in both remembering and imagining were differentially engaged during these tasks depending on whether a first person or a third person perspective was taken. In addition, while recalling autobiographical memories from a third person perspective can result in the feeling that a past self is more like another person, imagining oneself in the position of another person can result in the feeling that that person is more similar to oneself; this suggests a possible link between perspective in memory and social perspective taking. In Study 2, we identified several brain regions exhibiting a pattern of increasing or decreasing activation as a function of whether socially interactive events were recalled from a first person perspective, by imagining oneself as one's partner, or from a third person perspective (i.e., as a function of distance from one's own perspective). Together, our findings suggest that perspective plays an important role in the way in which brain regions that are part of this common neural network are engaged during memory, imagination, and socially interactive tasks.