Mean Spontaneous Cued Recall Scores, Reinstatement Experiments 2 and 3

Spontaneous Cued

Condition Production SD Production SD

Experiment 2: Immediate Recall After Video Reinstatement

Video reinstatement 10-10 5.5* 2.27 4.6* 1.89

Video reinstatement 2-12 2.8 1.47 2.7 1.25

Video training control 10-10 1.4 1.07 2.7 1.94

Experiment 3: Delayed Recall After Video Reinstatement

Video reinstatement 10-12 2.6 2.06 4.7* 1.63

*Significantly different from video reinstatement 2-12 and video training control 10-1. Source: Sheffield & Hudson (2003).

video exposure was sufficient for children with prior training 10 weeks in the past to be reminded of how to perform the actions.

Effects of Video Reinstatement Over Time

After showing that video reminders were effective in reinstating 18-month-olds event memories, the next experiment examined the duration of video reinstatement effects. We had shown that video reinstatement could be effective when recall was assessed immediately after reinstatement, but would effects be evident after a longer delay between reinstatement and recall? In this experiment, 18-month-olds in a delayed recall condition viewed a video simulation in a reminder session 10 weeks after training, but the recall test was administered 2 weeks later, 12 weeks after training, the video reinstate 10-12 condition (see Table 9.3). Their performance was compared to that of subjects in the previous experiment who were tested for recall on the same day as the reminder session. As shown in Table 9.5, spontaneous recall in the video reinstatement 10-12 condition was significantly less than that of children in the immediate, video reinstatement 10-10 condition, and was not significantly different from spontaneous recall of children in the video training 10-10 control group. However, cued recall for children in the video reinstatement 10-12 condition was as high as that of children in the video reinstatement 10-10 condition. Thus, reminder effects were found for children in the video reinstatement 10-12 condition as evidenced by their significantly higher level of cued production. However, their total recall was significantly lower than children who were immediately tested. This finding suggests that the effects of the video reminder had diminished over the 2-week interval, but that the memory was not entirely gone.

This finding indicates that children can be reminded of an event if they watch a video of the event 10 weeks later and immediately reproduce the event. However, when tested 2 weeks after viewing the reminder, their recall had already decreased. When the reminder was viewed 2 weeks after the original event and recall was tested 8 weeks later, children did not demonstrate recall at all. In contrast, research by Hudson and Sheffield (1998) showed that reenacting activities 8 weeks after training significantly improved 18-month-olds recall when tested even up to 6 months after the reenactment session.

These findings indicate that information presented in a video was effective in reinstating 18-month-olds event memories, but the reinstated memories did not last for very long. Thus, watching a video of an event may be effective in reminding 18-month-olds of their past experience, but it is clearly not equivalent to actually reexperiencing the event.

Effects of Video versus Photograph Reminders

In the next experiment, we compared effects of video and photograph reminders at 18 months. Reminder sessions were held 10 weeks after training as in the previous experiments, and children in the video reinstatement condition viewed the same videos as used in previous experiment (see Table 9.3). Children in the photograph reinstatement conditions viewed two photographs of each activity in a photo album while an experimenter described each of the actions. Recall was tested 24 hours after the reminder sessions. Although photographs and videos are both symbolic media that provide visual information about events, there are several important differences between these types of representation that have implications for their use as reminders. The video representation of the action sequences used in our research is very similar to children's initial training. Entire action sequences are shown with accompanying narration by an experimenter in real time. The actors have changed, but the objects and actions children were shown in initial training are the same in the video representation. The photographs of the event differed in several ways from the video presentations. The same props were shown in the photographs, but photographs only provided static images without motion information. We provided a verbal narration of the action, but action information was not available from the photographs themselves. Photographs thus provided less information about the event and used a different representational medium.

Because photographs provide less event information and because research on children's use of photograph information in the object retrieval task showed that children under 30 months are unable to use photographs as symbolic representations of a large-scale space, we predicted that photograph reminders would be less effective than video reminders for 18-month-olds. Harris, Kavenaugh, and Dowson (1997) also found that children under 2 years of age were unable to use photographs to depict imaginary transformations in pretend play, providing further evidence of limitations in young children's understanding of photographs. These findings suggest that 18-month-olds would not be able to understand how photographs represent past events. Providing verbal narration about the event while viewing the photographs could provide children with more event information, but research on verbal recall with children less than 30 months suggests that conversations about past events do not facilitate subsequent verbal recall (Hudson, 1990b, 1993).

To rule out potential context effects, all reminder sessions took place in children's homes. One day later, children returned to the laboratory for their test session. Age-matched control subjects who were not trained to perform the activities were also shown either the video or the photographs in their homes one day before being tested for production of target actions in the laboratory (video training and photo training conditions) (see Table 9.3).

Results are displayed in Figure 9.4. As predicted, reinstatement occurred in the video reinstatement condition, but not in the photograph reinstatement condition; recall in the photo reinstatement condition was not significantly higher than recall in the control conditions. It is not clear from these findings whether photographs were ineffective in reinstating recall because they did not provide enough event information or because 18-month-olds failed to appreciate how photographs represent past events. To examine effects of diminished event information on reinstatement, Sheffield (in press) conducted two experiments using video reminders that included partial or altered event information. To examine effects of photograph reminders on older children's recall, Deocampo and Hudson (2003) tested effects of photograph reminders with 24- and 30-month-olds.

Effects of Partial Video Information

The previous study indicated that videos were more effective than photographs in reminding children of past events. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that children below the age of 24 months

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