Document Detail

Seven-month-old infants chunk items in memory.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22575845     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Although working memory has a highly constrained capacity limit of three or four items, both adults and toddlers can increase the total amount of stored information by "chunking" object representations in memory. To examine the developmental origins of chunking, we used a violation-of-expectation procedure to ask whether 7-month-old infants, whose working memory capacity is still maturing, also can chunk items in memory. In Experiment 1, we found that in the absence of chunking cues, infants failed to remember three identical hidden objects. In Experiments 2 and 3, we found that infants successfully remembered three hidden objects when provided with overlapping spatial and featural chunking cues. In Experiment 4, we found that infants did not chunk when provided with either spatial or featural chunking cues alone. Finally, in Experiment 5, we found that infants also failed to chunk when spatial and featural cues specified different chunks (i.e., were pitted against each other). Taken together, these results suggest that chunking is available before working memory capacity has matured but still may undergo important development over the first year of life.
Mariko Moher; Arin S Tuerk; Lisa Feigenson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2012-05-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental child psychology     Volume:  112     ISSN:  1096-0457     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Child Psychol     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-06-12     Completed Date:  2012-10-26     Revised Date:  2014-09-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985128R     Medline TA:  J Exp Child Psychol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  361-77     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Child Psychology*
Memory, Short-Term*
Mental Recall
Grant Support

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