Reenactment

One way children are reminded of a past event is by physically repeating all or part of the event at another time. This procedure, reenactment, is similar to multiple training trials in that children physically reproduce some or all of the actions they learned in the past. We consider reenactment to be the most complete and concrete type of reminder. Not only do children actively participate in their retraining, but they interact directly with the experimenter, providing additional context for their experience. Our reenactment research began with an investigation of its effects on 18-month-olds' long-term memory (Hudson & Sheffield, 1998). The reenactment procedure was conducted in the following manner: During the training session, children visited our laboratory playroom and were shown how to perform eight novel, two-step activities using an elicited imitation procedure. The activities were designed to be interesting for 18-month-olds, but not to be things that they could discover on their own without training (such as finding a hidden box of fish food so that they can feed the goldfish or pressing a stuffed bear's paw to make it talk). Some time after training, children returned to the laboratory for a reenactment session. First, children were allowed 10 minutes of free play in the playroom to see if they would spontaneously produce the target actions. Next, the experimenter provided verbal prompts for any of the activities the child had not performed, such as "What could we do with this toy?" Finally, if children failed to produce the target actions after prompting, the experimenter demonstrated the action for the child and encouraged the child to imitate so that

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