chapter  2
14 Pages

Identifying Subsystems of Autobiographical Memory: Commentary on Nelson

One measure of the success of a research program is the extent to which it generates further research. By this measure alone, Katherine Nelson's program of investigation into the development of event knowledge and memory has been one of the most successful in developmental psychology. Her recent work on the source of infantile or childhood amnesia, and the development of autobiographical memory, is an exciting "further development" in this arena. My commentary on her chapter in this volume has two functions. The first function is to interpret her arguments about the development of autobiographical memory using some of the language and concepts from the dynamical systems perspective. The intent of this interpretation is to clarify necessary and sufficient contributions to the ontogeny of autobiographical memory. The second function of my commentary is to develop some theoretical and empirical questions which are generated through the translation of Nelson's arguments into the language of dynamical systems. My goal in this exercise is, in some small way, to perform the function that Katherine Nelson so often has performed for me in my development as a scholar and researcher. Specifically, I hope that my questions will encourage her to continue to pursue "what develops" in the course of development of events, narratives, and autobiographical memory.