Reinstatement

In addition to reenactment, children can also be reminded of the past activity by coming in contact with physical reminders, but without actually reproducing the actions. For example, children might observe someone else performing the activity, or they might see the props associated with activity. Are these types of experiences effective in reinstating young children's event memories? Reinstatement research in infants using the response-contingency paradigm reviewed above suggests that with increasing age, children may be reminded of past events by exposure to objects that are similar, but not identical to those encountered in initial training. Research using deferred imitation has also shown that between the first two years of life, children become more flexible in their use of retrieval cues (Hayne, MacDonald, & Barr, 1997) and more flexible in terms of the medium with which training is presented (Barr & Hayne, 1999). For example, Hayne et al. showed that 12-month-olds could not remember their training if at final test the original objects (i.e., puppets) were replaced with new objects differing in form or color, but 18-month-olds were successful if one of the two dimensions changed. By 21 months, children could accommodate both color and form change. Thus, with increased age throughout the second year of life, children were better able to retrieve information they learned during their initial session upon presentation of dissimilar stimuli at the test session.

It is also possible that this age-related increase in flexibility in use of retrieval cues is accompanied by a similar increase in the range of reminders that are effective for memory reinstatement. Developments in children's ability to use reminders to reinstate event memories may help to explain why memories for events occurring after the age of 3 are more likely to be retained in very long-term autobiographic memory as compared to memories from the infant and toddler years.

Reinstatement With Modeling

In our first reinstatement experiment (Sheffield & Hudson, 1994), we tested whether 14- and 18-month-olds could be reminded of a past event by viewing an experimenter perform some of the activities they had learned previously. We were interested in whether children could be reminded of a past event by passive exposure to a subset of activities from the original event. This study differed from the Hudson and Sheffield (1998) study in that children did not reenact any actions themselves during the reminder session, but merely watched an experiment reenact half of the activities. We selected children at different ages to see whether there were developmental differences in children's ability to use subset reminders.

Three conditions were used in this experiment (see Table 9.2). Children in the train/remind and train only (no reminder) conditions were trained to perform 6 novel activities similar to those used in the reenactment studies. Eight weeks after training, 14-month-olds in the train/remind condition participated in a reminder session while 10 weeks after training, 18-month-olds in the train/remind condition participated in a reminder session. Because pilot research had shown that the retention interval varied for children at different ages, different intervals were selected for each age group. In the reminder session, children viewed an experimenter model three of the six activities they had learned previously, but children did not perform the activities themselves. Both ages were tested for recall 24 hours later. Children in the train/no remind conditions did not participate in a reminder session and were tested for recall 8 or 10 weeks after training. Children in the no train/remind conditions were

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Joy Of Modern Parenting Collection

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