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New perspectives on childhood memory: introduction to the special issue

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This special issue brings together the scholarship that contributes diverse new perspectives on childhood amnesia – the scarcity of memories for very early life events. The topics of the studies reported in the special issue range from memories of infants and young children for recent and distant life events, to mother–child conversations about memories for extended lifetime periods, and to retrospective recollections of early childhood in adolescents and adults. The methodological approaches are diverse and theoretical insights rich. The findings together show that childhood amnesia is a complex and malleable phenomenon and that the waning of childhood amnesia and the development of autobiographical memory are shaped by a variety of interactive social and cognitive factors. This collective body of work will facilitate discussion and deepen our understanding of the dynamics that influence the accessibility, content, accuracy, and phenomenological qualities of memories from early childhood.
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Keywords: Childhood amnesia; autobiographical memory; early memory development; forgetting; infantile amnesia

Document Type: Introduction

Affiliations: 1: Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA 2: Department of Psychology, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey

Publication date: January 2, 2019

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