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Memory development in the second year: for events and locations

Russell, James and Thompson, Doreen (2003) Memory development in the second year: for events and locations. Cognition, 87 (3). pp. 97-105. ISSN 0010-0277

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Abstract

We employed an object-placement/object-removal design, inspired by recent work on 'episodic-like' memory in scrub jays (Clayton, N. S., and Dickinson, A. (1998). Episodic-like memory during cache recovery by scrub jays. Nature, 395, 272-274), to examine the possibility that children in the second year of life have event-based memories. In one task, a successful search could have been due to the recall of an object-removal event. In the second task, a successful search could only have been caused by recall of where objects were located. Success was general in the oldest group of children (21-25 months), while performance was broadly similar on the two tasks. The parsimonious interpretation of this outcome is that the first task was performed by location memory, not by event memory. We place these data in the context of object permanence development.