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Ch 11 Lec 9.docx

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Simon Fraser University
PSYC 325
Mario Liotti

Ch 11 Lec 9 Memory in infancy - Babies have limited control of motor responses and no good means of communication to be able to answer questions of researchers, so here are a few ways babies can convey information to us - Visual recognition o Gaze direction as a proxy for memory. They will selectively look at novel stimuli o If a mobile is placed above baby’s head, it may grab its attention. After a while the novelty wears off and infant is no longer attending to it. If the mobile is taken away and later put back up, and the infant doesn’t pay attention to it, that is some evidence of memory as it must remember the item and be bored by it. - Nonnutritive Sucking o Natural reflexive behavior biologically necessary for obtaining milk. Infants will suck differentially to the presence of a novel stimulus compared to a familiar stimulus. A novel stimulus will usually elicit an increase in sucking most likely because the stimulus is new and exciting o Must measure baseline sucking rate in comparison to stimuli sucking - Conjugate Reinforcement Technique (2-6months) o Baby lying on their back in a crib, usually home crib. A ribbon is attached to the infant’s foot. Baseline measure of kicking is made (how many times does the infant kick the foot with the ribbon on it?). Then the ribbon is attached to mobile, when a kick is made the mobile moves. Infants find this amusing and will kick repeatedly/shaking their feet. o Researchers measure how long it takes for the infant to learn that moving the foot results in the reinforcement of moving mobile. To test memory an interval of fewminutes-weeks is imposed. At the end of the retention interval the ribbon is gain attached to both the infant’s foot and to the mobile. An infant who remembers will start kicking immediately, whereas if not they will have to relearn, which will take several minutes o Rovee-Collier babies as young as 3 months will remember up to 1 week. 6 month old will remember as long as 2 weeks  They demonstrated a spacing effect (spaced out practice helps memory retention)  Demonstrated misinformation effect (second mobile in the retention period reduced likelihood that infant would remember first mobile)  More like implicit memory than conscious recall  Older infants (7 mo) not interested in mobiles or kicking anymore so they developed a technique of pressing a lever and following a toy train move. Infants remembered to press the lever even several weeks after - Imitation o Most adults tend to reject cognitive sophistication of imitation, it can be used as memory marker o Bauer (2002) has examined ability of infants closer to a year old to imitate actions of experimenters up to 1 month later. They can start that by the age of 9 mo (Hayne) - Memory for Language in Infancy o Infants focus on phonemes (speech sounds) of their native language very early, within the first few months o Babies as young as 1 month habituated to a particular phoneme (eg. Their sucking rate decreased after hearing the phoneme over and over). When a new phoneme was presented the sucking rate increased again o By 6 mo infants distinguish between phonemes of their native language and very subtly similar sounds that are not present in their native language o Six mo infants watched tapes of father and mother. They looked at mother’s video longer after hearing mommy and to father’s video longer after hearing daddy o Infants also learning the symbolic meanings of words by the end of the first year. They can recognize many common words such as mommy and daddy. - Semantic Memory o developing rapidly during first year of life o By 3-4mo, infants start to understand categorization, grouping objects together into specific concepts, such as cat/dog distinction (Eimas & Quinn, 1994) o Cannot acquire superordinate categories, but semantic memory develops early - Episodic Memory o Performance in conjugate reinforcement task suggests that infants can learn based on a single event and maintain that knowledge across a LTM retention interval o Similarly, infants can imitate behavior even when the model is no longer engaging in the behavior after seeing that behavior only once o So they can satisfy one of the conditions where memory is considered episodic: they can learn based on unique single events o It is difficult to discern between events such as them kicking at a mobile being memory related or related to conditioning. Because people cannot remember events from first year of life, it is likely that most learning is not episodic. So most likely true episodic memory is not available until around 2 years of age Memory in Early Childhood - Two basic theories as to how and why memory improves during this period (2-5 yrs) - Memory Efficiency View o Efficiency of learning new information and storing it in long-term memory o Memory improves because the processes of memory themselves improve as a child grows. That is, WM capacity increases, learning processes become faster and more efficient, and episodic memory processes start functioning o Study compared digit spans of younger and older children  Age 2: digit span: 2  Age 9: digit span: 6 o Pope (1996)  Tested school age children on a directed forgetting task. Subjects are told to inhibit or ignore items that they have already studied (forget them). After they are instructed to forget them they are then asked to learn new materials. To maximize performance on the new material, you must inhibit the to be forgotten information so as to not interfere with new learning. Adults in directed forgetting will show poor recall for items that they were directed to forget. They found that older children (10) were better at directed forgetting than younger participants (6). o Perlmutter (1978) examined the ability of children to remember objects shown to them. The 4 year-olds remembered twice as many objects as did the 2 year olds. This could be due to better encoding strategies - Memory Strategy view o Conscious activites a person engages in to assist the remembering of information o As children grow, they learn strategic behaviours (elaboration, rehearsal, organization), that allow them to use their memory better. o In a study, children as young as 18mo verbally rehearsed the location of a toy more often when it was hidden than when it was in open view o In another children were asked between the ages of 18-24mo to watch as an experimenter hid a desirable stuffed animal somewhere in the room. The experimenter told the children to remember where it was so that they could play with it later. Despite the availability of other toys, children frequently verbally reminded themselves of the hidden location, thus inhibiting the potential to forget. In control conditions where the toy was visible during retention, the children did not engage in verbal reminders o Younger children, 3-6yrs, do not use elaborative encoding. However at age 7-8 children are using and benefiting from elaborative strategies. Similar patterns are rd seen with organizational strategies which are not seen until around 3 grade o Children also do not use imagery (neither do some adults), but do benefit from it when taught - Episodic Memory o Memory of individual events from our lives. o Tessler and Nelson (1994)  Examined memory of 3.5 year olds who attended a museum. One week later the children were asked to describe the event. The children remembered the event in some details, clearly demonstrating episodic memory. However, features distinguished the memory reports from adults  The way the mothers interacted with their children influenced the amount of recall. Their talk influenced the children’s report. o Reese (2008)  Showed that young children 5yr accurately recall events that happened to them before the age of 2. They asked children about events that they also had reports on from the parents. Thus the researchers had a manner in which to corroborate.  In the study the children were given an actual event, such as remember the time you went on a hayride in the country. Children were given the opportunity to describe. They found that 5.5yr olds reported remembering events from before age 2 but made many errors in accuracy, however they recalled more events from age 3.5 and older. o Bauer (2005)  Were able to get children to visit the lab at age 3 and then again around the age of 8. In first visit, the 3 year-olds described six events that had recently happened to them. Approx 5 years later, they also found that older children were able to remember some (about 50%) of the original events accurately - Memory Conversations & Episodic Memory o The talk that goes back and forth between a parent and a child concerning past events. The discussions we have with others about the past. o The more open-ended and elaborative the conversation between parent and child, the more the child will remember later o In the previous Tessler and Nelson study, some parents were asked to take a more interactive approach to memory talk and some were asked to not discuss the event at all. The children who discussed the event together remembered more, showing that children report more info if their parents adopt the more interactive style of memory convo, and they remember more. o Peterson et al (2007)  Open-ended and elaborative styles helped young children 2-5yrs remember more from a stressful event (hospital visit) o Wang and Fivush (2005)  Point out cultural differences. In the US families are more likely to revel in past events and engage in memory conversations than in China, where moral percepts and family standards are stressed.  Therefore American children are more likely to remember recent events than young Chinese children, and they remember more from childhood as adults. Children’s Eyewitness Memory - Children are highly suggestible and therefore prone to false memories - In a high profile case in California in the 1980’s. a woman who ran a child care center was accused of sexually molesting numerous children. In this case, repeated and suggestive questioning led to what were surely many instances of FM in the child witnesses. Some children claimed that the accused could fly
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