Peggy St. Jacques — Assistant Professor, University of Alberta

Nov 1, 2023, 12:00 pm1:00 pm


Event Description

Visual Perspective Biases Autobiographical Remembering

Autobiographical memories are not veridical records of the personal past but instead can be retrieved in novel ways from how the past occurred, such as when people adopt alternative visual perspectives. People report that they can retrieve events from one of two perspectives: 1) an own eyes perspective, from the same viewpoint where the event was initially experienced, and 2) an observer-like perspective, where one might “see” themselves in the remembered event. In this talk, I will discuss how the flexible ability to shift perspective in autobiographical memories biases how people remember. First, I will describe evidence about how that visual perspective alters subjective and objective characteristics of autobiographical memories and contributes to inconsistencies in narratives of the personal past. Then, I will present fMRI evidence demonstrating how visual perspective cues bias autobiographical memory recall in a goal-directed way by recruiting angular gyrus and precuneus. Finally, I will end with a discussion of whether all individuals are able to adopt multiple viewpoints, and the potential implications on how shifts in visual perspective influence memory. Together these findings reveal how our visual perspective biases the way that we remember the personal past. 

Department of Psychology
Event Series