Infant Memory Development

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Developmental psychology is branch of science, studying the fluctuations happen during infancy, early childhood, adolescence, adult development, aging, and the entire lifespan. The topic of the lecture taught by Dr. Jane Herbert was the ‘Infant Memory Development’ discussing the traditional view on the declarative memory of infants and focusing on how age-related changes in retention and in the flexibility of memory performance. With reference to such topic and research, this essay will evaluate the both scientific and social effects of studying the development of infant memory, including: developing advanced methodology and supporting current theories; ….. This essay mainly consists of two parts: starting from introducing the research of infant…show more content…
Since the researcher cannot request infants directly what they remember, declarative memory tests used with adults are inadequate for infants. Thus, researchers have adapted and developed a number of measures, such as deferred imitation and elicited imitation techniques to assess infants’ recall memory. During these imitation tasks, memory performance is evaluated by an observation of the target actions, with or without previous practice or trial-and-error learning (Melzoff, 1990 cited in Herbert, 2014) Moreover, the findings of these researches may help to clarify the traditional assumption and support contemporary theories. Traditionally assumed that the declarative memory system develops after the first year of life along with the maturation of hippocampus, leading to a dramatic shift in memory processing at such system (Bachevalier & Mishkin, 1984). However, a research found that six-month-old infants are likely to show retention in the puppet task for 24 hours (Barr et al, 1996). In fact that they could remember the person, the object and the context in which learning occurs. The results suggest that infants may have as initial mental structures necessary for encoding, storing and retrieving declarative memory. Unlike the…show more content…
There are some factors which may enhance infant learning and memory performance. For example, Seehagen, Konrad, Herbert and Schneider investigated that only infants (6-months-old and 12-months-old), who napped within 4 hours after learning remember the target actions at the test. This improve the role of sleep in the formation of declarative memories in the first year. As such, educators could promote children have a nap after learning at home or at school in order to boot their memory abilities. Also, getting older, motor development, person who is demonstrating the actions are some of the factors that contribute to infant learning performance. In addition, at 3, 9, and 12 months of age, infant recognise the training object in a different context after all but the very longest test delays. Between 12 and 24 months of age, infants will also imitate an action that they saw in one context (e.g., the day-care center) when tested with the same object in a different context (e.g., laboratory) a few days later. Taken together, these findings reveal that infants can remember what they learn in one place if tested in another except after relatively long delays. Parents, educators, and public policy experts will be comforted to know that infants can transfer
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