The Development of Infant Memory - Buffalo State College

The Development of Infant Memory - Buffalo State College

The Development of Infant Memory PSY 415 Dr. Schuetze Food for thought Can infants form memories? What do infant memories look like?

If infants can form memories, why dont adults remember things that happened to them when they were infants? Evidence for Early Memories Preferences for visual novelty: looking time (1-4 days of age).

Preferences for mothers voice: operant sucking (3 days of age). Preferences for mothers smell: head turning (6 days of age). Classical conditioning: eyeblink (1030 days of age). Later Infant Learning Conjugate reinforcement paradigm

Memory Explicit vs. implicit memory Explicit memory Able to talk about/describe what you remember Characteristics of explicit memory

Fast Flexible Fallible Implicit Memory Not explicit How do you study explicit memory in nonverbal infants? Imitation tasks

Infants can remember some aspects of events as early as 6 months of age Infants remember events for long periods of time only at the end of the first year of life 9 month olds remember for 1 month 10 month-olds may remember for up to 6 months

Changes in this ability are related to changes in brain development Infants exhibit high individual variability on the deferred imitations tasks: About 50% of nine-month-olds recall events after 1 month (with 3 or more exposures)

ERPs show that the same infants recognize pictures of the props used to enact these events Robust ordered recall by 20 months of age in 78% to 100% of infants after 1-month delay Later Infant Learning continued Deferred

imitation paradigm Searching tasks AB error A

B Searching tasks AB error A B

Searching tasks AB error A B

Searching tasks AB error A B

What does the AB task involve? Memory for location originally thought to be a memory task Systematic changes in the length of delay required to get the AB error.

Implicates areas other than memory areas Inhibition Experience has an effect Infants who walk are less likely to make the AB error Healthy premature infants outperform term infants of the same conceptual age

Infantile Amnesia What I have in mind is the peculiar amnesia which, in the case of most people, though by no means all, hides the earliest beginnings of their childhood up to their sixth or eighth year. (Freud).

General inability of people to remember specific events from the early years of their lives. Adults first recollections: 3 years of age Passage of time & inability to form

durable memory traces seem cant account for IA Infantile Amnesia Plausible Explanations: Maturation of the brain structures required for explicit memory (i.e.,

prefrontal cortex) Social influences: once children are capable of producing simple sentence (around 3 years of age) they are often asked to verbalize their experiences Encoding Retrieval mismatches Theories of Infantile Amnesia Repression

(Freud) Neurological immaturity Lack of memory abilities Deferred imitation Mobile conjugate reinforcement paradigm Theories of Infantile Amnesia continued

Lack of ability to tell stories (Pillemer & White, 1989) Memory is 2 functionally independent systems Nonverbal, image-based system Socially accessible system Lack

of sense of self (Howe & Courage, 1993) Lack of a theory of mind

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