Integrating across memory episodes : developmental trends

  • Memory enables us to use information from our past experiences to guide new behaviours, calling for the need to integrate or form inference across multiple distinct episodic experiences. Here, we compared children (aged 9–10 years), adolescents (aged 12–13 years), and young adults (aged 19–25 years) on their ability to form integration across overlapping associations in memory. Participants first encoded a set of overlapping, direct AB- and BC-associations (object-face and face-object pairs) as well as non-overlapping, unique DE-associations. They were then tested on these associations and inferential AC-associations. The experiment consisted of four such encoding/retrieval cycles, each consisting of different stimuli set. For accuracy on both unique and inferential associations, young adults were found to outperform teenagers, who in turn outperformed children. However, children were particularly slower than teenagers and young adults in making judgements during inferential than during unique associations. This suggests that children may rely more on making inferences during retrieval, by first retrieving the direct associations, followed by making the inferential judgement. Furthermore, young adults showed a higher correlation between accuracy in direct (AB, BC) and inferential AC-associations than children. This suggests that, young adults relied closely on AB- and BC-associations for making AC decisions, potentially by forming integrated ABC-triplets during encoding or retrieval. Taken together, our findings suggest that there may be an age-related shift in how information is integrated across experienced episodes, namely from relying on making inferences at retrieval during middle childhood to forming integrated representations at different memory processing stages in adulthood.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Author:Yee Lee ShingORCiDGND, Carsten Finke, Martina Hoffmann, Anna Pajkert, Hauke R. Heekeren, Christoph Johannes Ploner
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):PLoS one
Place of publication:Lawrence, Kan.
Contributor(s):Alessandra S. Souza
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/04/22
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/04/23
Issue:(4): e0215848
Page Number:11
First Page:1
Last Page:11
Copyright: © 2019 Shing et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0