Introduction

In just the last decade, the study of memory development in young children has changed dramatically. Initial forays into this line of investigation tended to focus on the issue of whether or not preverbal children were capable of long-term memory and, if so, when it began. Important research documented impressive long-term retention in young, preverbal children and infants (e.g., Barr, Dowden, & Hayne, 1996; Bauer, 1995; Bauer, Hertsgaard, & Dow, 1994; Bauer & Shore, 1987; Greco, Rovee-Collier, Hayne, Griesler, & Earley, 1986; Hamond & Fivush, 1991; Hudson, 1990b; McDonough & Mandler, 1994; Meltzoff, 1995; Meltzoff & Moore, 1994; Rovee-Collier, Sullivan, Enright, Lucas, & Fagen, 1980). Although differences in methodology, and to some degree differences in criteria for what constitutes episodic memory, have segmented the literature on infant recall (largely based on response-contingency paradigms) and studies of toddlers and preschool children (using imitation and verbal recall tasks), in the last decade it has become evident that infants under 1 year were capable of long-term recall for several weeks, that 1-year-olds could remember episodes for several months, and that 2-year-olds can verbally recall unique experiences that took place when they were 13 to 30 months old (see Bauer, Burch, & Kleinknecht, 2002, and Rovee-Collier & Hayne, 2000 for reviews). Moreover, there is evidence that the temporal parameters of memory processing change dramatically during the first 3 years of life and continue to change throughout adulthood (Rovee-Collier & Hayne, 2000).

Thus, research on early memory has shifted from questions of whether and when young children demonstrate long-term memory and have focused on understanding the variables that influence long-term memory in very young children. For example, research has examined how the content and structure of an event affect long-term memory (Bauer, Wenner, Dropik, & Wewerka, 2000); whether infants and toddlers can remember actions they have seen, but not actually performed (Barr & Hayne,

1999; Collie & Hayne, 1999); how reexposure to event information can reinstate and extend event memories (the topic of this chapter), and how brain developments during the first 3 years of life contribute to the onset and development of long-term, verbally accessible recall (Bauer, 2002; Bauer, Wiebe, Carver, Waters, & Nelson, 2003).

In light of our newfound appreciation of infant memory ability, it seems even more puzzling that adults recall so little from this time period. Studies of adults' recollections of childhood have consistently found that adults report few, if any specific memories from the first 3 years of life, a phenomenon referred to as infantile amnesia (White & Pillemer, 1979). The lower frequency of memories for early childhood as compared to memories of middle childhood, adolescence, and adulthood are too great to be attributed to simple memory decay. Given that young children are capable of remembering over periods of days, weeks, months, and even years, it is important to understand what variables account for why some events are remembered while most are forgotten.

Several theories have been proposed to account for infantile amnesia. Originally, Freud (1935) proposed that memories from before the age of three are repressed. More recently, memory theories have focused on important cognitive, language, and social developments during the preschool years that contribute to the forging of explicit, self-conscious, and culturally embedded autobiographical memories (for reviews, see Howe & Courage, 1993; Nelson & Fivush, 2004; Pillemer & White, 1989). Social interactionist accounts of autobiographic memory development propose that children's emerging competence in verbally sharing event memories in conversations with adults allows young children to understand the social significance of autobiographical memories and provides a context for adults to assist children in retrieving memories and constructing personal memory narratives (Fivush, 1991; Hudson 1990b; Nelson, 1990, 1993; Nelson & Fivush, 2000, 2004). The ability to verbally report an event at the time of its occurrence appears to play a critical role in children's later ability to verbally recall and event (Bauer & Wewerka, 1997; Peterson & Rideout, 1998). However, there is some evidence that children can verbally recall events from a preverbal time (Bauer, Wenner, & Kroupina, 2002; Hudson, 1990b, 1993; Myers, Clifton, & Clarkson, 1987). Although events need not be encoded in a verbal form to be later recalled, the language used both during the experience and in later recall discussions helps children form a more coherent memory representation and improves verbal recall (Tessler & Nelson, 1994). Language may not be necessary for later verbal recall, but developments in both language comprehension and production clearly contribute to the consolidation and long-term accessibility of event memories during the preschool years. Other explanations for the offset of infantile amnesia have focused on the development of source monitoring (Leichtman, 1999) as well as the emergence of a cognitive sense of self (Howe & Courage, 1993) and theory of mind (Perner, 2000) as causal factors in the emergence of autobiographic memory. The ability to identify event memories as personally experienced events that happened to oneself at a particular place and time is critical to Tulving's (1983) definition of episodic memory and may depend, in part, on these cognitive developments.

It is most likely, however, that multiple and interacting cognitive and social developments occurring during the early childhood years contribute to the onset of durable autobiographic memories. Sharing memory narratives with others and an emerging understanding of self and others contribute to the construction of an internalized concept of one's own autobiography which is fundamental to autobiographic memory. The ability to identify the source of one's recollections and the ability to attribute memories to oneself are also important components of a concept of autobiography. At the same time, developments in long-term memory retention may allow for a larger pool of potentially retrievable event memories for children to think about and discuss with others. The critical role of memory reminders in sustaining event memories over increasingly longer periods of time so that they can become part of an emerging autobiography is the focus of our research.

The research discussed in this chapter examines effects of reexposure to event information on young children's long-term recall. Differential reexposure to events may account for why some events are remembered over long periods of time, even into adulthood, while others are soon forgotten. This is an important issue to investigate when studying the development of real-world event memory because there are numerous opportunities for children to reexperience parts of events or to encounter the same people, objects, or actions from a prior episode without repeating the entire event. To illustrate potential reminder effects for real-world as compared to laboratory-encountered events, consider the differences between a visit to a research laboratory playroom and a visit to the zoo with an out-of-town relative. Suppose 18-month-old children visited a laboratory playroom and were shown how to perform novel actions on novel sets of toys by an experimenter such as learning how to make a catapult by placing a ball on a lever and fulcrum apparatus and hitting one side (Sheffield & Hudson, 2004). After leaving the laboratory, it is unlikely that children will reencounter portions of this event outside of the laboratory setting. They will not run into the experimenter at home, at their day care center, or in their community and they will not see photographs of her in their homes. Their story books will not show pictures of the laboratory or the apparatus. They will not see the laboratory or the apparatus on television. There are no photographs or home videos of the event. Their parents have been instructed not to talk about the event so there will be no conversation about the experience. Perhaps, they will see balls similar to the one used in the laboratory, but they will not see the lever apparatus. In fact, the setting, the selection of actions and objects, and the instructions given to parents were all carefully orchestrated to prevent reexposure to any part of the event after children leave the laboratory.

Now consider a visit to the zoo with an aunt who has arrived from another state for a visit. After the event, children could encounter several types of reminders. Parents may talk about the visit or may simply talk about the aunt. Children could see pictures of zoo animals in story books and on wall posters. They may have plush animal replicas of zoo animals or small-scale zoo play sets that remind them of their zoo trip. They may have a souvenir item from the zoo such as a tee-shirt or toy. They may see zoo animals on television. They may view photographs taken during the trip or even a home video of the trip. Perhaps they encounter all of these potential reminders. It is possible that all of these experiences remind them or the trip or perhaps, only the photographs and home videos of the trip actually remind them of their visit. It is also possible that none of these remind them of the trip and they have no recall of the experience when questioned three months later.

These examples illustrate the ubiquitous nature of potential reminders for events in real-world contexts and how little we know about what kinds of reminders actually influence young children's memory. It is our contention that a full understanding of how children retain real-world event memories must consider the role of reminders. Laboratory controls that insure that children will not be reminded of events during the interval between encoding and recall are useful for assessing long-term memory without benefit of reminders, but we must also understand the degree to which reminders can both enhance and in some cases, distort recall if we are to understand the development of real-world event memory.

Examining the kinds of memory prompts and reminders that assist with the retrieval of event memories can also provide a greater understanding how children encode and store event information in memory. According to Tulving's (1983) encoding specificity principle, a retrieval cue (or a reminder) can only be effective if information in the cue was included in the original encoding of event information. For example, if a reminder such as viewing objects associated with an event is effective in improving children's recall for the actions performed on the objects as well, we can conclude that children encoded both object and action information when they experienced the event and that object and action information were encoded as separate but related elements so that recall of one component (objects) cues recall of the other (actions). This approach has also been used to examine context effects on recall. If a reminder that includes event information without matching context information is effective in reminding children of a past event, then we can conclude that context information was encoded as a separate feature of the event. Similarly, if it can be shown that a reminder that provides information about one component of an action sequence enhances recall of other components in the sequence, we can conclude that both components are stored in memory as related components of an overall event. This type of semantic network for representing event information is evident in children from about 9 months as evidenced by their ability to recall multistep action sequences (Bauer et al., 2003). Research on reminder effects can provide more information on how different components of larger events are stored in memory

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