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Why don't young infants generalise memory across contexts?

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • Between 6- and 9-months of age, memory retrieval becomes less dependent on consistent contextual cues. We examined whether visual attention during learning accounts, at least in part, for increasing memory flexibility. 6- and 9-month-olds (n=16 per age) watched a short video on an eyetracker of an adult demonstrating actions with a puppet. At both ages, infants fixated on the background for approximately 14% of their viewing time. Thus, age-related changes in contextual flexibility do not reflect decreasing attention to background details as a function of age. In the immediate visual recognition memory test, 6-month-olds exhibited a familiarity preference, looking significantly longer at a photo of the video s background compared to a novel background. Thus, 6-month-olds may have a weaker memory representation for contextual information, which they are motivated to update. In contrast, 9-month-olds exhibited a null preference, potentially reflecting the relative unimportance of remembering background details from this learning event.

Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • Taylor, G. & Herbert, J. S. (2011). Why don't young infants generalise memory across contexts?. 5th International Conference on Memory ICOM-5 Abstracts (pp. 169-169).

Start Page


  • 169

End Page


  • 169

Abstract


  • Between 6- and 9-months of age, memory retrieval becomes less dependent on consistent contextual cues. We examined whether visual attention during learning accounts, at least in part, for increasing memory flexibility. 6- and 9-month-olds (n=16 per age) watched a short video on an eyetracker of an adult demonstrating actions with a puppet. At both ages, infants fixated on the background for approximately 14% of their viewing time. Thus, age-related changes in contextual flexibility do not reflect decreasing attention to background details as a function of age. In the immediate visual recognition memory test, 6-month-olds exhibited a familiarity preference, looking significantly longer at a photo of the video s background compared to a novel background. Thus, 6-month-olds may have a weaker memory representation for contextual information, which they are motivated to update. In contrast, 9-month-olds exhibited a null preference, potentially reflecting the relative unimportance of remembering background details from this learning event.

Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • Taylor, G. & Herbert, J. S. (2011). Why don't young infants generalise memory across contexts?. 5th International Conference on Memory ICOM-5 Abstracts (pp. 169-169).

Start Page


  • 169

End Page


  • 169