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Title: Remembering out-of-context : a developmental perspective
Author: Harrison Jones, Emily Jane
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2008
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Contextual influences on memory retrieval are of theoretical and e~pirical importance in infant memory research. Early in infancy, memory is strongly constrained by contextual congruency at encoding and retrieval. Contextual constraints appear to progressively loosen over the infancy period (Hayne, 2004), but little is known about the nature and extent of this change. The present studies revealed that age-related decreases in contextual constraints on memory retrieval extend to both physical and social context, and to recall and recognition memory (Experiments 1-4). Specifically, for 9-month-olds both recognition and recall memory were less affected by a change of social context than for 6-month- . olds, and for 12-month-olds, recognition memory was less influenced by a change of global physical context than for 6-month-olds. At 12-months, memory retrieval appeared to be particularly constrained by intrinsic contextual details, a constraint that was robust across procedural variations that alleviate context-shift effects in other age-groups (Experiment 5). Nonetheless, providing infants with a unique environment for learning and retrieval helped them to retrieve memory across an intrinsic contextual change, indicating that extrinsic context may perform a disambiguating function later in infancy (Experiment 6). Finally, Experiments 7 to 9 used an EEG study to explore the processes underlying contextual influences on memory retrieval with adults. A change ofioom selectively impaired the purported neural correlates ofrecollective-based recognition memory, indicating that investigating the development ofrecollection in infancy may be an important step towards understanding contextual influences on memory in development. Taken together, these studies show that sirililar contextual features are encoded in memory from infancy to adulthood. Contextual details exert progressively less influence over memory retrieval over the first year of life, likely through a combination ofboth the maturation ofbrain regions involved in memory, and experience oflearning and remembering in a variety of settings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available