The next talk in the School of Psychology Seminar Series will be held Friday the 8th at 3pm in room 302 of the McElwain Building.
Dr. Harlene Hayne
University of Otago
Age-Related Changes in Infant Memory
One of the most consistent findings in the area of infant memory development is that memory retrieval occurs, if and only if, the cues present at the time of retrieval are virtually identical to stimuli encountered during original encoding. Although these data illustrate that infant memory is highly precise, the specificity of the cues required to initiate memory retrieval indicates that it may be difficult, if not impossible, for potentially useful memories to be retrieved by cues (or in contexts) not previously encountered. As such, infantsability to use their prior knowledge to solve new problems might be very limited, particularly early in development. The goal of my presentation is two-fold. First, I will show that memory retrieval by young infants personifies the encoding specificity hypothesis in extremis. Second, I will show that the specificity of memory retrieval decreases as function of both age and experience during the infancy period. Taken together, these data provide a model for the way in which knowledge accumulates and accrues during the infancy period and may have important implications for the phenomenon of childhood amnesia.
Photo source: University of Otago