v METHODS TO STUDY RECOGNITION MEMORY IN INFANTS
- Ask the child if they have seen the material before
Ø presenting s’s with the material they are to remember
Ø after an interval representing it
Ø asked the S’s to judge whether it is familiar or novel
Ø require them to discriminate it from the material that they have not seen before.
Shortcomings of this method
Language: hard for young children to produce the right
Understanding: hard for young children to understand the
- habituation techniques
Ø S’s repeatedly shown the same stimulus
Ø On its first showing the stimulus evokes a lot of attention
Ø Either measured by how long it is looked at or by physiological measures e.g.: heart rate
Ø If on each successive showing it evokes less attention S’s is said to have habituated
Ø Decline in interest could only happen if the subject remembered the stimulus from one
occasion to another
RECOGNITION MEMORY IN INFANTS
Recognition memory of
Newborns can remember what
they see over a 24 hour period
§ E.g.: Werner and Siqueland (1978)
§ Babies altered their sucking patterns when
the color of a visual stimuli changed even though they had not seen that stimulus for nearly a day
Newborns can remember what
they hear over a 24 hour period
§ E.g.: 14 day old Babies
§ mothers repeated the words “tinder “ and “beguile” to their
babies 60 times a day for 13 days
§ after training researchers tested babies memory for these words
§ infants showed that they remembered these words and recongnised them better than
their own names.
Newborns can to discriminate between stimuli
§ E.g.: Siqueland and Lipsitt 1966
§ Infants a few hours old learned to
turn their heads to the left or the right depending on if they had heard a buzzer or a tone
§ In order to taste a sweet liquid would turn to the right with a tone sounded
· Memory of 3 months old
Mobile over the infants’ crib attached to a ribbon
3 month old infants quickly
learned which arm or leg would move the mobile
8 days later same infants
placed in the same situation
they remembered which arm
or leg to move
with a brief reminder before
testing infants could remember the connection for more than 4 weeks.
o infants memory also improves with the context of the setting
o i.e. they remember more when tested in the same setting.
· Memory of 10 months old
o infants memory improves further
E.g.:Myers, Clifton and Clarkson (1987)
When infants were ten months
old they saw pictures, touched objects and heard sounds
Upon returning to the lab
when they were 3 years old
Children were more likely
to touch the objects and recognize the sounds that they had been exposed to on their earlier visit than were the children
who had not had the earlier experiences
· Memory of 4 year old
- Masurement of
the attention child pays to novel and familiar objects
§ E.g.: Brown and Campione (1972)
§ shown 80 pictures of familiar objects
§ after an interval they were shown 120 pairs of pictures
§ in 60 pairs one picture had been in the original set of 80 while the other picture
had not – but it showed the same object (e.g. original had been dog eating this one would be same dog running)
§ the other 60 pairs were entirely composed of new pictures
§ recognition was highly accurate
§ after 2 hours, after a day and after a week
§ comparable with results in work with adults
· improvement of memory over time
o e.g Nelson(1971)
1st, 4th, and 7th graders (n = 20 in each
Ss were tested for recognition of slides
they had been shown immediately and after 14 days.
Older Ss were better than younger Ss in
reconstructing from memory an arrangement of 6-9 picture cards.
- Conclusion on findings on recognition memory in infants
Ø s’s find recognition easier than recall.
Ø From the age of ten weeks habituation to simple patterns shown in infants. So there is
some recognition memory capacity in babies under 3 months old.
Ø The possibility of conditioning in neonates suggest that there may be recognition memory earlier still.
Ø As babies get older time lapse in recognition
memory gets better.
Ø Recognition memory is virtually as good in children of 4 years and older as adults.
Ø Recognition of simple objects as good in pre-school children as adults.
Ø Little difference between pre-school children and adults on abstract pictures or puzzle
Ø Older children and adults outperform younger children on recognition of complex scenes.
· coined by Freud 1905 when he observed that most of his patients were unable to
recall events in their first 3 – 5 years of life.\
E.g. Sheingold and Tenney 1982
If the sibling wads born before
the person was 3 years old they could not remember anything about it.
· rate of decline of memory was much steeper for first 6 years of life than thereafter
· Events that take place in the first 2 years after birth cannot be sufficiently
consolidated. And therefore can’t be remembered
Events that take place in
the first 2 years after birth cannot be sufficiently consolidated
And therefore can’t
why does this occur
· Repression of sexual and
aggressive feelings a young child experiences towards his/ her parents
· But this predicts amnesia
only for events related to sexual and aggressive thoughts when in fact childhood amnesia extends to all kinds of events.
More accepted explanation
· Due to a massive differences
between how children encode experience and how adults organize their memories.
o Adults structure their memory in terms of categories and schemata
o Young children encode their experiences without embellishing
shift from early childhood to adult forms
· Biological development
Hippocampus (involved in consolidating
§ Not mature until a year or two after birth
Fact memory develops later.
basic capacity/ short term memory
Amount of information that can be held in short term memory.
Reasons for the growing capacity of short term memory
changes in the brain improve basic memory capability
- No solid evidence
and motivation play a role in remembering things
and adults apply different strategies to the task.
information about what we have acquired over time
Ø Processing efficiency Case (1996)
o proposes that it is the more efficient use of what he calls
executive processing space, rather than any increase in the basic memory capacity that serves as a major mechanism for development.
o Executive processing space: space available for major cognitive
o The two components of executive processing space:
1. operating space
the amount of space necessary for a particular operation to take place.
2.short term operating space
the amount of space being devoted to short term memory storage
o Increased efficiency in children due to
§ Streamlining of executive
control structures (e.g. using strategies like chunking)
§ Biological maturation.
Ø Processing speed (Kail 1991)
o Suggests that the age-related increases in the speed of information
processing are responsible for much of the improvement that occurs in children’s cognitive abilities as they develop
o Processing speed is a global mechanism that affects all aspects
of information processing.
o Processing speed increases with age and its effect is evident
after practice effects have been taken into account.
o Biological basis: processing speed increases with physical maturation i.e.: gain in height.
Ø Physical aids
Children’s use of rehearsal
Ø under the age of 7
Little spontaneous rehearsal
in under 7
Ø At 7 years
Sometimes use rehearsal
Likely to be rudimentary and
inefficient e.g.: limited to only one name.
Ø Above 7 years to adulthood
Rehearsal techniques get more
flexible and efficient with age.
Ø Semantic organization
o Organizing information to be remembered by means of categorizations
and hierarchical relationships.
Children’s use of semantic organization
§ 2 - 3 year olds
· use basic category labels
to help them learn and remember.
§ 7 year olds
· possible to teach them to
use category labels
Ø Context cues
children rarely use mnemonics?
Ø Children don’t realize how useful and necessary mnemonic strategies
Ø Children don’t realize the demands of the task or their own capacities
Children often mis-judge the difficulty of the task (easier than it is)
Children don’t have enough knowledge about things
Ø Mediation deficiency: Inability to use strategies
to store information in long term memory
Ø Production deficiency: Inability to spontaneously
generate and use memory strategies that one knows.
Ø Utilization deficiency: Inability to generate
and use memory strategies that one knows.
Ø Interaction of the costs and benefits E.g. Kunzinger and Witryol (1994)
use of mnemonic strategies
o Children use
§ Multiple strategies
§ A combination of strategies
§ Progress in use of strategies
tends to be cyclic
§ Number of strategies increases
§ The more strategies younger
children tried to use the poorer their recall
· What individuals know about the world, influences:
What they understand about
a present event
What they will recall about
memory changes and ageing
- Aging may affect memory by changing:
the way information is stored
harder to recall information the brain has
The most dramatic memory changes associated
with normal aging involve:
the working memory--active thinking that
involves processing, storing and recalling things;
and episodic memory, recalling a past experience:
The difference between normal memory problems and dementia is that the
memory loss that normally occurs with aging
doesn't get much worse over time.
Dementia gets much worse over a period of
several months to several years.
How does Alzheimer's disease change memory?
Alzheimer's disease starts by changing the
recent memory-ability to learn and store new information.
At first, a person with Alzheimer's disease
will remember even small details of his or her distant past but not be able to remember recent events or conversations.