Remembering from any angle: the flexibility of visual perspective during retrieval.
When recalling autobiographical memories, individuals often experience visual images associated with the event. These images can be constructed from two different perspectives: first person, in which the event is visualized from the viewpoint experienced at encoding, or third person, in which the event is visualized from an external vantage point. Using a novel technique to measure visual perspective, we examined where the external vantage point is situated in third-person images. Individuals in two studies were asked to recall either 10 or 15 events from their lives and describe the perspectives they experienced. Wide variation in spatial locations was observed within third-person perspectives, with the location of these perspectives relating to the event being recalled. Results suggest remembering from an external viewpoint may be more common than previous studies have demonstrated.
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