Adolescence is marked by the development of personal identity and is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions associated with Self processing. Yet, little is known about the neural correlates of self-reference processing and self-reference effect in adolescents. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study consists of a self-reference paradigm followed by a recognition test proposed to 30 healthy adolescents aged 13-18 years old. Results showed that the rostral anterior cingulate cortex is specifically involved in self-reference processing and that this specialization develops gradually from 13 to 18 years old. The self-reference effect is associated with increased brain activation changes during encoding, suggesting that the beneficial effect of Self on memory may occur at encoding of self-referential information, rather than at retrieval.
© 2015 The Authors. Child Development © 2015 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.